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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

 12:06 PM 

Poll: Feingold an early favorite for Senate seat

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold leads potential GOP rivals for Herb Kohl's U.S. Senate seat by 10 percentage points or more in a poll released today.

The survey was conducted by Dem polling firm Public Policy Polling. PPP surveyed 1,636 state voters May 19-22 through automated phone calls. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. (See the polling memo.)

In hypothetical match-ups, Feingold leads former Gov. Tommy Thompson 52 percent to 42 percent, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann 53-41, Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen 53-38, and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald 54-39.

Feingold has an overall favorability rating of 51 percent, while only 38 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. By contrast, 42 percent had a favorable view of Thompson, and 42 registered an unfavorable opinion of him.

Feingold isn't the only Dem registering high marks in the survey. U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, has a 46-41 advantage over Neumann in the poll. She leads Van Hollen 46-39, and Fitzgerald 48-37. Head-to-head with Thompson, Baldwin trails 45-44.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, is tied with Thompson 44-44, leads Neumann 44-40, Van Hollen 44-38, and Fitzgerald 45-37.

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen had the weakest results of the Dems tested in the poll. In a hypothetical matchup with Thompson, he trails 45-42. Against Neumann, Kagen holds a 42-41 advantage, and against Van Hollen and Fitzgerald the Appleton Dem holds identical 43-38 leads.

-- By Greg Bump


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