A race thought to be lost for Republicans is competitive again, perhaps not in spite of but because of Trump’s collapse…
A new piece in National Review today explores what political observers have noted for the last few weeks: the Wisconsin Senate race between Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is tightening.
It’s a rematch between a businessman-turned-senator in Johnson and a career politician in Feingold who is fighting for the seat he lost to Johnson in 2010.
Since it became clear these two would be facing off in the general election, nearly every poll has shown Feingold with a sizable lead. But just this week, three new polls found Johnson within striking distance.
A Loras College poll showed Feingold up by 5 points; another poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov showed Feingold’s lead at only 3; and a Marquette Law School poll gave Feingold a 2-point lead, well within the poll’s margin of error.
These same polls shows Hillary Clinton with 8-, 7-, and 4-point margins, respectively, over Donald Trump. And while numerous polls once showed Feingold with a double-digit lead over Johnson, that’s no longer the case.
In other words, something shifted in the race within the last week that appears to be aiding Johnson while having no noticeable benefit for Trump. National Review’s Eliana Johnson posits that it’s the increasing likelihood of a Clinton presidency that is helping Senate Republicans:
The decisive factor in the race might be that, while swing voters in the state may favor Clinton over Trump, they also appear to want a congressional check on a Clinton presidency. That would help to explain why, while one would expect Republican Senate candidates to be going down with the Trump Titanic, the fates of many are actually improving.
Whatever the reason, it’s a race that is joining Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and others that could determine who controls the Senate in 2017.
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