GREEN BAY — With seven weeks before voters head to the polls, former governor Tommy Thompson has an 18 point primary lead in the latest U.S. Senate poll.
The Marquette Law School survey of 344 likely Republican primary voters shows 34% support for Thompson in the upcoming race. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann is at 16%, hedge fund manager Eric Hovde is at 14% and 10% support state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. The poll shows 25% of likely voters are still undecided.
“25% of the people still being undecided in this race bodes well for a dark horse candidate like myself,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald might be behind in the Marquette poll, but points to his delegate win last month at the Wisconsin Republican Convention. Fitzgerald didn't earn enough support for the party's official backing, but he believes the ultra-conservative support will show in what he believes will be a low primary turnout
Thompson's campaign says otherwise. In a statement on the Marquette poll, Darren Schmitz of Thompson's campaign says, “Tommy Thompson's plan to balance the budget, cut spending and repeal Obamacare is clearly resonating with Republican voters.”
Neumann, in Green Bay Wednesday afternoon, also likes his current standing.
“The bottom line is my opponents have been spending lots of money on TV during this time period and we have not been, but we're still in second place and we're feeling very very good about that,” said Neumann.
One candidate spending money on television ads has been Hovde. Yet, the Marquette poll reveals he is the least recognizable among the candidates. In a statement, Hovde says, “we're happy with where we're positioned right now, and we look forward to continuing our push to bring fiscal sanity to Washington in the weeks and months ahead."
The poll also showed Thompson as the only Republican to be favored over the lone Democrat in the race, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. He edges her 49% to 41% among likely general election voters. Baldwin is either even or favored against the other Republicans.
Baldwin's campaign says it will soon launch a campaign to introduce her to voters. This is video of one of her ads you could soon be seeing.
The other candidates say to expect more of the same from them in the coming weeks.
The poll's margin of error is 5.4% for likely Republican primary voters. For possible November matchups, it is 4.1%
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