Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Feingold continues to lead Thompson

Tommy Thompson is gaining on Russ Feingold as the likelihood of his candidacy increases, and now trails just 47-44. Feingold had a 50-41 advantage when PPP looked at a hypothetical contest back in November. Nevertheless the poll finds warning signs for Thompson on the road ahead.

Feelings toward Feingold and Thompson are highly polarized with neither having much in the way of crossover support. Feingold's approval rating is a 45/41 spread with 73% of Democrats approving of him and 71% of Republicans disapproving of him. Thompson's favorability is a negative 40/44 spread with 70% of Republicans viewing him positively and 73% of Democrats holding an unfavorable view. Independents are relatively split on both politicians, with Feingold getting a 46/43 approval rating with them and Thompson standing at 40/40.

Both candidates continue to have their parties lined up overwhelmingly behind them with 89% of Democrats supporting Feingold and 83% of Republicans going for Thompson. The main reason the race has tightened since November is that Thompson is now ahead 45-40 with independents, where he trailed 47-41 before. The shift toward him among independents is reflective of the national trend with those voters, who are leaning toward the GOP in generic ballot polling and in most individual races this year.

One thing that could be a major liability for Thompson if he decides to make the race is what he's been doing in the private sector since leaving the Bush administration. Only 1% of Wisconsin voters have a favorable opinion of Washington lobbyists to 77% who view them negatively, and if Thompson can be effectively portrayed as such it has the potential to be a major liability in his campaign.

For now though it looks like a Thompson-Feingold race would be a toss up. And it appears a Thompson candidacy is the only way this contest will be close. Against existing Republican candidates Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake, Feingold leads by margins of 48-34 and 48-31 respectively.

For the GOP to have even a small chance at taking back the Senate this year, this is a seat it probably needs to win. Thompson's final decision could have pretty significant national implications.

Full results here

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another PPP poll conflicting with non-partisan polling.

Every WPRI and Rasmussen poll has shown Thompson leading, with good favorable ratings. PPP is the only poll showing Thompson trailing, with negative(!) favorability.

Doesn't pass the smell test.

Has the management of PPP contributed to Feingold's campaign? Dooes PPP have a business relationship with Feingold?

Full disclosure, please.

Tom Jensen said...

I really love being lectured on transparency by an anonymous commenter. Why don't you have the guts to post your name on your screeds and then maybe we can talk.

DonSurber said...

I am a conservative but that is a great answer Tom

Rasmus said...

Oh my god, just look up if they contributed to him on opensecrets.org

It's not THAT hard, is it?

Anonymous said...

Rasmussen non-partisan? You are good making me laugh :))

The last months Rasmussen gives crazy numbers for very much states, and WI is one of their first targets (as are PA, IL, MI, CO or MN).

But now I have not problem with Rasmussen polls because I decide ignore all they.

One friend in Swing State Project call Rasmussen "PINO" (Pollster in name only). And he is just right.

xoff said...

Rasmussen and WPRI are non-partisan? Au contraire. WPRI is run by a bunch of former Thompson staffers, and Rasmussen is a Republican firm.

Dave said...

It's half a great answer. While WPRI is different, Rasmussen is Thompson +2, with a 4.5% margin of error. Given the PPP poll's margin of error Rasmussen and PPP could be identical.

The biggest difference in most polls has to do with weighting. PPP has given the Republicans less of an enthusiasm gap than some other pollsters. I believe PPP overweights Democrats and underweights Republicans. I believe a state that is 35% Democrat 32% Republican will vote 35% Republican 32% Democrat this year. Clearly Tom doesn't.

Since Thompson isn't actually running I think we can give him a little flexibility here.

Dave said...

As I bet Tom will confirm there is nothing amiss about Rasmussen's surveys. In many cases, however, they've been weighting Republicans heavier than other pollsters. They are one of the few pollsters that uses a "Likely Voter" screen. Some of the skew can be attributed to that. Rasmussen's model ended up being spot on in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

To dismiss Rasmussen's polls out of hand behind because you don't like the result shows ignorance of polling. If Rasmussen continues to be right in their likely voter formula in upcoming special elections other pollsters will adjust their model. Determining the enthusiasm gap will be one of the big challenges for pollsters this year.

Christian Liberty said...

Rasmussen is one of the most accurate polls around. For leftists to try to PRETEND otherwise is just laughable.

 
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