Johnson Surges Into Lead Over Feingold

Johnson Surges Into Lead Over Feingold

By Kyle Adams - September 17, 2010

Republican businessman Ron Johnson has opened up a seven-point lead over Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, according to the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports.

Johnson has the support of 51 percent of voters while Feingold garners support from 44 percent. Johnson has led by one or two points in all Rasmussen polls since mid-July, and the seven-point advantage is the largest for either candidate in any poll taken of the race. Johnson now leads in the RCP Average by 1 percent.

While both candidates are holding their respective party's voters -- 94 percent of Republicans support Johnson, and 86 percent of Democrats back Feingold -- Johnson wins non-affiliated voters by nearly two-to-one. Additionally, though 51 percent of Wisconsin voters still have a favorable view of Feingold, he is hampered by opposition to President Obama and the health care reform bill in the state. Fifty-five percent of Wisconsin voters support repealing the health care bill, and though 49 percent of voters approve of the job the president is doing, a significant number (40 percent) say they strongly disapprove. Only 29 percent say they strongly approve of the president's job performance.

This week, Johnson, who easily won the Republican primary on Tuesday over Dave Westlake, agreed to debate Feingold three times. The incumbent senator had challenged Johnson to six debates, a tacit recognition of his vulnerability this cycle.

The poll of 750 likely Wisconsin voters was conducted on Wednesday by Rasmussen Reports. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Kyle Adams can be reached at

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