The latest Marquette University Law School poll has the presidential and U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin swinging strongly toward the Dem candidates.
The poll found President Obama leading Mitt Romney 54 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, compared to a 49-46 Obama edge in the last survey, which was taken shortly after the selection of Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, for the presidential ticket.
Likewise, the survey found Dem Tammy Baldwin leading Republican Tommy Thompson 50-41, a reversal from the August poll, which had the former guv up by the same margin. That survey was taken in the days after Thompson won the state’s GOP primary.
The live surveys of 601 likely voters, using landlines and cell phones, was conducted Sept. 13-16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Pollster Charles Franklin said there were two significant shifts in the poll compared to August. One, independents swung toward the Dem candidates. In the presidential race, Obama increased his lead among independents from 45-43 in August to 53-38 in the latest poll. In the Senate race, independents favored Thompson 47-37 in August, but now back Baldwin 50-38.
Secondly, the survey had a bump in the percentage of voters describing themselves as Dems. This survey had a partisan breakdown of 34 percent Democrats and 27 percent Republicans. The series of polls down for the school have had an average of 32 percent Democrats and 30 percent Republicans.
Franklin said that shift could be attributed to two things. One is the possibility there was more enthusiasm on the Democratic side than among Republicans following the national conventions.
The second could be a random sample error. Still, Franklin said if the latest survey was adjusted to reflect the balance in past polls, it would not change Obama and Baldwin leading their opponents. Obama would still be up 51-43, while Baldwin would lead 48-43.