Poll of likely Wisconsin voters puts Johnson ahead of Feingold

Loras College says Johnson has an edge with independent voters

Ron Johnson and Russ Feingold photos

DUBUQUE, Iowa (WBAY) – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson leads challenge Russ Feingold by five points in a new poll released Monday by Loras College.

Johnson had 45 percent to Feingold’s 40 percent, with 9 percent saying they were undecided.

The poll of 500 likely Wisconsin voters is the first to give the incumbent Republican senator a lead in the race. Marquette University Law School polls consistently show Feingold, the Democrat, with a lead, as did a poll by Loras College earlier this year. The most recent Marquette poll released last month put Johnson six points behind.

Loras College said in its poll Johnson has the advantage with independent voters, 45 to 35 percent.

Looking at who’s voting by party, almost 21% of callers who identified themselves as Democrats said they would vote for Johnson, compared to 10% of Republicans who said they would vote for Feingold.

The poll also gives Hillary Clinton an 8-point lead over Donald Trump in the presidential election in a four-way match-up including Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, with 9 percent undecided.

Two-thirds of voters who said they intend to vote for Clinton said it was more to endorse her rather than oppose Trump. Twenty-five percent said they were voting for Clinton as a show of opposition to Trump. Among Trump voters, 37 percent said it was to endorse him, while 51 percent said it was to oppose Clinton.

Sixty-one percent said they expect Clinton to win the election, regardless of who they’re voting for.

Loras College began polling in Wisconsin races in April. Registered voters, with landline or cell phones, were contacted at random on October 4 or 5 and asked if they were “very likely to” or “definitely” voting in the presidential election in November.