Bruce Murphy
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Poll Shows Barnes Nearly Even With Johnson

CNN's new poll on US Senate race has Johnson with 50%, Barnes with 49%.

By - Oct 24th, 2022 03:02 pm
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

A new poll by CNN shows a virtual ties in the race for U.S. Senate with 50% of likely voters backing Republican incumbent Ron Johnson and 49% backing Democratic challenger, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. That’s a significant change from the last Marquette Law School poll, on October 12 which found Johnson was supported by 52% of respondents and Barnes by 46% of respondents.

Barnes has been getting pummeled by third party attack ads since he won the Democratic primary in August, which helped transform his 7 percent lead in an MU poll to a deficit of 6% in a matter of six or seven weeks.

According to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets, outside groups have spent nearly $88 million dollars on the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin thus far. Of that, around $35.1 million has been spent on ads opposing Barnes and around $27.4 million has been spent against Johnson.

But the Barnes campaign waited until October 3 to release its first ad attacking Johnson, with a focus on the Senator’s opposition to abortion.

The CNN poll found that Johnson tops Barnes 78% to 21% among likely voters who say their top issue is the economy while among the smaller group of respondents naming abortion as their top issue Barnes led Johnson by 83% to 14%.

About 35% of respondents in Wisconsin said candidate character and integrity will be their top consideration, and among that group Barnes topped Johnson by 56% to 41% Barnes also had a slight edge among independents, with 50% of the vote versus 46% for Johnson.

The poll had a plus or minus margin of error of 4.2%, meaning the race is basically a dead heat.

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