Feingold still in trouble in WI Senate race

posted at 3:35 pm on May 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If Russ Feingold thought he’d escaped a tough re-election bid with the demurral of Tommy Thompson last month, the latest Rasmussen numbers come as an unpleasant reminder of his tenuous grip on office.  Wisconsin Republicans endorsed businessman and newcomer Ron Johnson in last week’s state convention as the nominee to challenge Feingold, and he’s already caught the incumbent in a virtual tie among likely voters:

Businessman Ron Johnson, endorsed at last weekend’s state Republican Convention, is now running virtually even against incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin’s race for the U.S. Senate.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Wisconsin shows Feingold with 46% support to Johnson’s 44%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) remain undecided.

As he has in surveys since the beginning of the year, Feingold continues to fall just short of 50% regardless of which Republican he’s matched against. Incumbents who earn less than 50% of the vote at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable. Feingold was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 56% of the vote.

It’s a tight race even in the internals.  Surprisingly, Johnson wins a two-point edge among 18-29YO voters, but apart from an eleven-point lead among 40-49YO voters, the age demographics are all narrowly split.  The income demographics show more definition between the candidates, but Johnson wins more of them than does Feingold.  Feingold takes a six-point lead among independents, 44-38,  but 10% are still undecided.

It won’t help that Wisconsin voters favor repealing the ObamaCare bill 53/38, and favor passage of an Arizona-like immigration-enforcement law in their state, 57/29.  Unlike other Democratic incumbents in blue states, Barack Obama is just underwater in approval, 49/50.  The current Democratic Governor is farther underwater at 41/57.

Feingold does have a decent favorability rating at +9, 53/44, but with only 3% having no opinion.  He’s well defined, thanks to his long incumbency.  Johnson, on the other hand, has 32% of the likely voters in Wisconsin to convince one way or the other.  Among the rest, he has a +17 at 42/25.  If Johnson can define himself in this race before Feingold can do the job for him, he has plenty of room to improve his standing and his numbers.  For Feingold, it looks as though he’s near his ceiling already.


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“Clowns to the left of me; jokers to the right; here I am”

Fuzzlenutter on May 27, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Purple state?

RobCon on May 27, 2010 at 3:40 PM

“unknown GOP challenger”

Yeah, I’d vote for a generic Republican…maybe a mannequin or a robot that we can program the Constitution and common sense into.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Akzed on May 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Related news – WisPolitics reporting former front-runner Terrence Wall will drop out.

steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 3:42 PM

One more businessman in Congress, one less lawyer? Sign me up.

I have to admit, though, that Feingold is last on my list of Dems I want to see ousted.

MadisonConservative on May 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM

I have to admit, though, that Feingold is last on my list of Dems I want to see ousted.

MadisonConservative on May 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Well, there is an embarrassment of riches in such a list.

Feingold is the classic Dem who talks conservative when he’s up for election. I’d love to see him gone.

PackerBronco on May 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Cheese about to get waxed.

News at ten.

viking01 on May 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM

“unknown GOP challenger” Just the way the Republican party wants it? It’s good to keep the Tea Partiers at bay.

heshtesh on May 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM

This man is against obamacare and has his own “stash” to campaign with–plus, plus. Has actually worked in the private sector, not a lawyer–plus and plus.

dragondrop on May 27, 2010 at 3:53 PM

http://www.scottwalker.org/

Scott Walker effect in play perhaps?

MatthiasReynolds on May 27, 2010 at 3:54 PM

I am worried that Feingold may lie about military service to increase his poll numbers.

WashJeff on May 27, 2010 at 3:54 PM

After forcing the health care bill, the stimulus, and all the spending the dems continue to do…..I’m still amazed they do as well as they do in polls. Are Americans just gluttons for punishment here, that they’d even consider re-electing someone who with intent, decided to trash the best health care system on the planet?

capejasmine on May 27, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Save your seat Russ, lie about serving in Vietnam.

fogw on May 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Make that Wall IS out.

steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM

sorry WashJeff, you were quicker on the draw.

fogw on May 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM

“unknown GOP challenger” Just the way the Republican party wants it? It’s good to keep the Tea Partiers at bay.

heshtesh on May 27, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Ron Johnson is one of the founders of the Oshkosh Tea Party.

steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Feingold should be fine with the endorsements of B.Hussein and the Mav .

borntoraisehogs on May 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I have to admit, though, that Feingold is last on my list of Dems I want to see ousted.

MadisonConservative on May 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Do I have to make a road trip to knock some sense into you?

steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Somebody wake up the geriatric GOP and suggest to them that there are no safe seats in November. That there should be no uncontested seats, and that the GOP should field a candidate for every office on the ballot in November.

Skandia Recluse on May 27, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I lived in Feingold’s neighborhood during his first run for Senate. He had a list of ten promises he would do, if elected to office, painted on his garage door.

The day after the election … his garage door was whitewashed.

I wish I had taken a picture because I can’t remember what they were (and I wasn’t too political at the time).

neobadger on May 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Do I have to make a road trip to knock some sense into you?
steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Nope I live in WI. I will do it for you.

Grayzel on May 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I’m surprised Ed didn’t link to it in this post, but George Will’s column today is about Ron Johnson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/26/AR2010052604760.html

lizzie beth on May 27, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Nope I live in WI. I will do it for you.

Grayzel on May 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Only if you’re closer than 72 miles due east of Madistan will that be necessary (south suburbs of Milwaukee here).

steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:43 PM

If Ron Johnson calls Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” his “foundational book”, he’s got a promising future!

If he’s only two points down now, he has a fighting chance, and he should probably try to book an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, who is from Wisconsin, and has become increasingly friendly toward conservatives after her interviews with Sarah Palin in 2008.

Now let’s see if somebody can make up a catchy little campaign jingle starting with

“My name is Ron Johnson,
I come from Wisconsin…”

Steve Z on May 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM

I’ll do my part and vote against him in Nov. Even though we are not in Wi right now. Plus we have another vote against Feingold in this house come Nov.

Brat4life on May 27, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Whenever I pass the storefront downtown Feingold is using for re-election, I always try to pass a little gas. He has all these signs made by children in the windows, and it gives me the creeps. But then, so does his politics.

Terrence Wall is a bigger jerk than Feingold ever dreamed of being. I’m so pleased he’s done. Back to speculation in real estate by buying up all that lovely swampland.

Honestly, I don’t understand how WI can produce such a bumper crop of useless politicos.

tcn on May 27, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Steyn has an article on this guy thats a must read, I can’t place where is was posted and its not up on his site yet prolly due to a TOU agreement.

The guy is another Randian as his level of dedication to win against Feingold cannot be overstated. When asked how much of his fortune he’s willing to spend, without hesitation he responded, “All of it.” Too effing cool!

Anyone know where that article was?

Archimedes on May 27, 2010 at 6:13 PM

lizzie beth on May 27, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Thats the article, thought it was Steyn instead of Will.

Archimedes on May 27, 2010 at 6:18 PM

I have to admit, though, that Feingold is last on my list of Dems I want to see ousted.

MadisonConservative on May 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Well, there is an embarrassment of riches in such a list.

Feingold is the classic Dem who talks conservative when he’s up for election. I’d love to see him gone.

PackerBronco on May 27, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Exactly. Went to a townhall 2 weeks ago and he is so arrogant. All he did was bash bush. Hope this guy Johnson is good. I want Russ to go too.

wi farmgirl on May 27, 2010 at 10:10 PM

lived in Feingold’s neighborhood during his first run for Senate. He had a list of ten promises he would do, if elected to office, painted on his garage door.

The day after the election … his garage door was whitewashed.

I wish I had taken a picture because I can’t remember what they were (and I wasn’t too political at the time).

neobadger on May 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Wasn’t one of those he would only run for 2 terms? Hah! Isn’t he on his 4th? Wished you would have taken a picture of that…brings new meaning to “Priceless”.

wi farmgirl on May 27, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Do I have to make a road trip to knock some sense into you?
steveegg on May 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Nope I live in WI. I will do it for you.

Grayzel on May 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I’m in, I am only 2 hrs from Madison.

wi farmgirl on May 27, 2010 at 10:19 PM

I’m surprised Ed didn’t link to it in this post, but George Will’s column today is about Ron Johnson.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/26/AR2010052604760.html

lizzie beth on May 27, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Great article, He had me at “all of it”.

wi farmgirl on May 27, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Hey farmgirl…

Johnson is the real deal.

I’m surprised to hear you don’t know much about him… and I’m happy for you because I like seeing people fall in love!

I’m ALL IN for Johnson. THE REAL DEAL.

Best regards to you from Oshvegas.

roscopico on May 27, 2010 at 11:50 PM