Poll: U.S. Senate race now a toss-up

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The latest Marquette Law School poll, released less than a week before election day, reveals Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race is a toss-up.

The poll gives Democrat Russ Feingold a one-point lead over Republican Senator Ron Johnson among likely voters, well within the poll’s three-and-a-half point margin of error.

Political insiders say the race could go either way. The push for last-minute, undecided voters could determine the fate of Wisconsin’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

Both Sen. Johnson and Feingold are criss-crossing the state with less than a week to go before the election.

“Over this period we’ve seen impressions of both candidates grow as more and more voters have gotten to know them and feel like they have a feeling about the candidate favorable or unfavorable,” Marquette Law School poll director Charles Franklin said.

Feingold’s lead in the most recent Marquette poll is razor-thin compared to previous polls.

Against an incumbent senator, “He was ahead by just two points three weeks ago and by five points six weeks ago. This is a race that Feingold had led by double digits in 2015 and early 2016,” Franklin noted.

The results didn’t come as a surprise to either campaign.

In a statement, a spokesman for Sen. Johnson said, “This race is a dead heat and the momentum is clearly with Ron Johnson. Wisconsinites are closer than ever to sending Senator Feingold back to California — for good.”

Feingold responded, too. “Now it’s up to the people,” he said. “We’re keeping listening and campaigning for the next days, but we do think it’s extremely close and we’re going to take nothing for granted.”

With a race this tight, national groups are now pumping more money into Wisconsin for their candidate.