Sen. Johnson, Feingold acknowledge close race for U.S. Senate seat at debate

Johnson credits his gains in the polls to resources, while Feingold said he welcomes the challenge.


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Senator Ron Johnson, (R) Wisconsin, and challenger Russ Feingold, (D) Wisconsin, squared off in their first debate of the season Friday night in Green Bay.

The debate lasted about an hour and the candidates talked about a variety of topics, including gun control, the war on ISIS, government and economic growth and the future of Wisconsin.

Johnson and Feingold are no strangers to the debate spotlight. One of the last times they met was on stage back in 2010, just before Johnson beat Feingold and took his seat in the U.S. Senate.

In 2010, Johnson won by four points but during this election, a new Marquette Law School Poll released this week shows Feingold with a two point lead over Johnson among likely voters.

The new results show 48 percent of likely voters support Feingold and 36 percent back Johnson, but these results are well within the margin of error basically placing the race in a dead heat.

Last month, the Marquette poll had Feingold with a five point lead over Johnson.

Johnson credits his gains to resources, while Feingold said he welcomes the challenge.

“His campaign has been unbelievably negative and unbelievable false. I have been out resourced during the summer but after Labor Day I think we have the resources to finish out this campaign. We are putting out very positive ads, we are telling the truth, we are telling the truth about who I am and what I have done,” said Johnson.

“I actually think that a close race and poll focuses the mind and makes sure our supporters get out and vote. To see every single poll indicating throughout the entire campaign that I am ahead of Senator Johnson indicates people have a good feeling, and I think we have to  make sure to get the vote out and keep listening to people as we finish,” said Feingold.

The second debate between the candidates will be Tuesday, October 18, at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.