Former Gov. Tommy Thompson led among likely GOP primary voters in the U.S. Senate race, but political newcomer Eric Hovde has narrowed the lead since June, according to a new Marquette University Law School poll.
Thompson was backed by 35 percent of respondents, compared to 23 percent for Hovde, 10 percent for Mark Neumann and 6 percent for Jeff Fitzgerald. The July poll represents a nine-point gain for Hovde since the June survey, while Thompson was up one point, Neumann slipped six points and Fitzgerald remained steady.
Twenty-five percent of GOP primary voters remained undecided, the same as the June poll. The margin of error for the survey of GOP primary voters was plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.
In the general election, Thompson came in at 45 percent to U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin's 41 percent, while the poll had Baldwin up on Hovde 44-38. She also edged Neumann 43-40 and led Fitzgerald 43-37. The margin of error for the general election survey was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The poll of 1,000 registered voters was in the field from July 5-8. The sample include 810 likely general election voters, with a subsample of 432 likely GOP primary voters.
A survey from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling released yesterday put Hovde at 31 percent and Thompson at 29 percent in the GOP primary, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
-- By David Wise
Editor's note: This post was been edited to correct Thompson gained a point compared to the June poll.