Bruce Murphy

Poll Shows Ron Johnson Trails Three Democrats, Evers Leads GOP Challengers

MU poll also shows Michels/Kleefisch in virtual tie in GOP primary for governor.

By - Jun 22nd, 2022 01:07 pm
Tony Evers and Ron Johnson

Tony Evers and Ron Johnson

The new Marquette Law School poll shows a tight race in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator, led by Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, and even tighter in the Republican primary for governor, with businessman Tim Michels in a near-tie with former  Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. The poll also did head-to-head matchups of incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson against his top challengers, which show Johnson a bit behind three of the four Democratic challengers, and a similar matchup of incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Earl against his four potential Republican challengers, with Evers leading all four and Kleefisch running closest to the governor.

Perhaps the biggest news in the poll is the rise of Michels, who announced his run for governor in late April, too late to be included in the April MU p0ll which last measured the governor’s race. Michels has quickly jumped to the lead in the Republican primary, with 27% of the vote versus 26% for Kleefisch, 10% for former Marine Kevin Nicholson, and 3% for Rep. Timothy Ramthun. The results echo a poll done in mid-May by Public Policy Polling for the Milwaukee nonprofit, Milwaukee Works, which found a virtual dead heat between Michels and Kleefisch.

But Kleefisch did the best of the Republicans in the head-to-head matchup against Evers, with 43% of the vote versus 47% for Evers. The governor got 48% of the vote to 41% for Michels, 48% versus 40% for Nicholson, and 48% versus 41% for Ramthun.

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Barnes still leads, with 25% of the vote versus 21% for Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, 9% for state treasurer Sarah Godlewski. and 7% for Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

In the head-to-head matchups for U.S. Senator, Johnson won one of them, getting 45% versus 42% for Lasry. He ran behind the other three, with 44% versus 46% for Barnes, 43% versus 45% for Godlewski and 43% versus 44% for Nelson.

Adding to the bad news for Johnson is that his approval rating continues to be at an all-time low with just 37% of registered voters saying they approve of him and 46% saying they disapprove. Over the nine months previous to this, Johnson has averaged 35% favorable and 44% unfavorable ratings in the MU polls, the lowest since Marquette began polling about him in 2013.

Democratic President Joe Biden was also underwater in the latest poll, with just 40% approving of him and 57% disapproving.

Evers, by contrast, had a net positive rating, with 48% approving of the job he did and 45% disapproving.

While the results are better for Evers than Johnson, and offer the best news for Michels and Barnes among the challengers, the difference in most cases does not surpass the 6.3% margin of error for the governor’s race and 6.4% for the U.S.Senator race. And a high number of respondents who “don’t know” which candidate they favor — 36% in the primary for senator and 32% in the primary for governor — allows lots of room for both races to change.

Another factor that could affect the vote — which bodes well for Republicans — is the enthusiasm factor, which typically drives the turnout and can be critical in a swing state like Wisconsin. The new poll found that 67% of Republicans are “very excited” about the election, compared to 58% of Democrats and 35% of independents.

Categories: Politics, Weekly

4 thoughts on “Poll Shows Ron Johnson Trails Three Democrats, Evers Leads GOP Challengers”

  1. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Americans vote for the politician they hate the least, not the politician they support.

    Most Americans are sickened by Joe Biden as much as they are sickened by Donald Trump. The Democrats could have run a dead person against Donald Trump in 2020 and the dead person probably would have received more votes than Joe Biden… And we would probably be better off today if a dead person had won in 2020, rather than war mongering liar Joe Biden.

  2. ringo muldano says:

    Accordingly, the floor is 40%. Can’t fix stupid or true believers.

    Kevin! You still gotta chance asshole.

    Timmy! “Hi. Those is Tim. Right now, the Democrats are trying to steal this election… blah, blah, blah!”. Voicemail to me on election night – 18 yrs. ago.

    Becky – “Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous.” yes, Becky. You’re ridiculous.

    Timothy? You’re. just. stupid.

    January 6 committee is not done.

  3. Jaimcb says:

    Hey NieWiederKrieg, I think a part of your brain must be dead. Frankly, who cares what you think about Biden, the real question about your thinking is: Do you really believe voters are equally sickened by Biden as they truly are with Trump? Have you been living under a rock? Pay no attention to countless testimonies? C’mon!

  4. NieWiederKrieg says:


    I gave thousands of dollars to Democratic Candidates and I continue to get phone calls to contribute more… I picked up volunteers from Chicago to knock on doors in Waukesha County for John Kerry in 2004… I collected signatures to Recall Scott Walker in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012… I never voted for a Republican since I started voting in 1972..

    That being said, I just dropped out of the Democratic Party after 50 years of loyalty… I am a devout Christian and a Catholic… I refuse to condemn my soul to hell for a bunch of evil, corrupt, lying, war mongering, mass murdering, pieces of human excrement like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tammy Baldwin, Ben Wikler, Mark Pocan, Adam Schiff, and AOC…

    The “January 6” hearings are a dog and pony show… They should be holding the “Jeffrey Epstein Videotaped Every US Congressman that Visited Epstein Pedophile Island and then Epstein Blackmailed Them” hearings… Or how about the “Joe Biden Staged a Coup in Kiev in 2014, Overthrew the Democratically Elected Government of Ukraine, Then Murdered Over 15,000 Russian Speaking Ukraine Civilians” hearings.

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