WISCONSIN WOULD GO FOR THOMPSON OVER FEINGOLD IN U.S. SENATE RACE
MADISON – If an election for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin were held today and both Tommy Thompson and Russ Feingold were on the ballot, the former governor would defeat the incumbent by four percentage points, according to a new poll released today.
Just over 43% of respondents said they would vote for Thompson – the former Republican governor who served from 1987 to 2001 before accepting an appointment from President George W. Bush to become secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Just over 39% said they would vote for Feingold, the Democratic senator who was first elected in 1992. Feingold’s current term expires next year and, so far, his sole announced challenger on the Republican side is David Westlake, a small business owner from Watertown.
The survey of 700 randomly selected Wisconsin adults was conducted by phone with live interviewers from Sept. 27-29. It was directed by Ken Goldstein, a UW-Madison political science professor, as part of a partnership between the UW Department of Political Science (www.polisci.wisc.edu) and the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (www.wpri.org).
The poll has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points. The margin of error will be higher for sub-group analysis. The sample of Wisconsin adults was selected by random digit dialing (RDD) of landline phones; cell-only households were not included.
WPRI – a nonpartisan, not-for-profit think tank – has been conducting independent, annual polls on politics and issues for more than 20 years. Working with Goldstein, the institute will survey state residents every four months. The partnership’s next poll will be conducted in the spring.
Goldstein is also director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project at UW-Madison. Known for his non-partisan, unbiased research, Goldstein has worked on national network election night coverage in every U.S. federal election since 1988, and is currently a consultant for the ABC News elections unit. During the 2008 presidential election, he was also the co-founder and director of the Big Ten Battleground Poll.