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Seal of Wisconsin
Public Policy Polling (PDF). 2/23-26. Wisconsin voters. MoE: ±3.3% (10/20-23 results):
Tammy Baldwin (D): 46 (44)
Tommy Thompson (R): 45 (46)
Undecided: 9 (10)

Tammy Baldwin (D): 47 (44)
Mark Neumann (R): 41 (43)
Undecided: 12 (13)

Tammy Baldwin (D): 47 (44)
Jeff Fitzgerald (R): 39 (40)
Undecided: 14 (16)

These numbers present a rather different picture of the Wisconsin Senate race than the recent survey from Marquette Law School, at least as far as the Baldwin-Thompson matchup is concerned. While Marquette showed Baldwin with similar leads over Neumann and Fitzgerald, they had Thompson leading by a 48-42 spread.

Of course, the race is still very much a tossup with Thompson, and while it's reassuring to see Baldwin nose ahead of him, the movement is little more than the usual froth. Baldwin's favorables have largely held steady (28-30 in October, 31-31 now), as have Thompson's (42-42 vs. 41-42). Interestingly, though, this sample is decidedly less Democratic than the prior one. October's survey was 37 D, 31 R, 32 I, while this poll is 33-31-36. Democrats and Republicans remain as polarized as ever, but those fickle independents now support Baldwin 47-41, whereas they'd gone for Thompson 47-34 last time. Given how that respondents can change party ID as readily as Lady Gaga changes costumes, I'm not ready to read a lot into that, but if Baldwin can continue to do well with unaffiliated voters, that's a positive sign.

PPP also released a primary portion of the poll, as well as three different hypothetical scenarios were one candidate to drop out (MoE: ±4.2%):

Jeff Fitzgerald (R): 22 (21)
Mark Neumann (R): 22 (29)
Tommy Thompson (R): 39 (35)
Not sure: 17 (11)

Jeff Fitzgerald (R): 37 (35)
Tommy Thompson (R): 46 (47)
Not sure: 17 (17)

Mark Neumann (R): 36 (39)
Tommy Thompson (R): 46 (43)
Not sure: 18 (17)

Jeff Fitzgerald (R): 32 (28)
Mark Neumann (R): 42 (44)
Not sure: 26 (28)

What's interesting is that while Thompson, who has definite problems on his right flank, has legged out to a larger lead in the three-way race, the direct matchups with Fitzgerald and Neumann are a lot closer. Though Thompson is still very popular with Republicans (he has a 66-17 favorability rating), 47% of respondents say they'd prefer someone more conservative, compared to 37% who want Thompson to be the nominee. Well, the choice is open to them, but the conservative field is clearly split between Neumann and Fitzgerald. The race is still quite young, though, and Neumann has yet to deploy his enormous personal wealth on to the airwaves, so things may yet change—and Thompson is far from out of the woods.

P.S. Rasmussen Reports has its own Wisconsin poll out, and the numbers sure are lulzy. They have Thompson up 50-36, Neumann up 46-37, and Fitzgerald up 41-40. Suffice it to say, no one else has seen numbers remotely like this. Of course, they're using their proprietary "likely voter" model (whatever that may mean at this preposterously early stage of the game), and as always, they were only in the field for a single day. Oh, and they're also still Rasmussen!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 10:51 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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