October 13th, 2010
05:10 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: Feingold trails in re-election bid

(CNN) - A new poll suggests that Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is fighting for his political life.

A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday indicates that the three-term Democratic senator trails businessman Ron Johnson, the Republican nominee Senate nominee, 52 to 44 percent among likely voters in Wisconsin. Johnson's eight point lead is up from a five point advantage in mid September.

Full results (pdf)

Among the larger sampling of registered voters, Johnson, who enjoys the support of many in the Tea Party movement, has a 48 to 45 percent advantage, up from a two point margin last month.

According to the poll, Feingold has an overwhelming advantage among Democrats, while Johnson has an overwhelming advantage among Republicans and leads 57 to 38 percent among independent voters.

"Although Johnson is from Oshkosh, he manages no better than a tie in the northeastern part of the state, but he has a two-to-one lead in the Milwaukee suburbs and other parts of the southeastern region, and that's enough to give him a statewide lead," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Feingold is picking up votes in the two major Democratic strongholds in the state - Milwaukee and the southwestern region that is dominated by Madison, the state capital."

"The two Senate candidates are tied among women, with 48 percent apiece," Holland also notes. "That's usually bad news for Democratic candidates and it hurts Feingold as well, given Johnson's 15-point lead among men."

The Senate showdown isn't the only political battle attracting attention in the Badger State. There's also a closely watched governor's race between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican.

The survey indicates that Walker has a 52 to 44 percent lead over Barrett among likely voters, down from an 11 point lead in mid September. Among registered voters, Walker has a 48 to 45 percent advantage, unchanged from last month.

According to the poll, Walker leads by 22 points among independent voters. The winner in November succeeds Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who decided against running for a third term this year.

According to the survey, 44 percent of likely voters approve of the job President Barack Obama's doing in the White House, with 52 percent saying they disapprove. Among all adults, 45 percent give Obama a thumbs up while 49 percent disapprove.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 8-12, with 1,506 adults, including 1,372 registered voters and 931 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Get the latest poll results here.

Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • Polls • Ron Johnson • Russ Feingold • Wisconsin
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Scot

    It is always amazing that the middle of this country buys into the republican mantra. I assume it is because most of them are all good church people that be leive anything that is told to them.

    October 13, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. barry

    Feingold is toast. CNN what's with the Democrat bias? The Reid ticker is very mis leading. I would be ashamed to put something up so blatantly biased. Come on CNN are you trying to take MSNBC place? I realize Fox is putting the hurt on you but turning liberal will end you like the other Liberal Media. Please remain fair and balanced.

    October 13, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    That photo of Ron Johnson doesn't look like him... I'm from Wisconsin – I've seen A LOT of coverage on this race, and that photo just doesn't look like all the other images of him. Or maybe it is him – 10 years ago?

    October 13, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. nygirl

    Independents, please!!!!!!!!!!! Do you really want him and his "traditional values" and disbelief in Global Warming in the senate? I am begging you....

    October 13, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. George of the jungle

    You people need to wake up. The repos have lots of money. Where it all comes from they won;t say. But you can bet it comes from big business. Is that who you want running this country. Moct fo the tea party idiots are puppets for big business who will tell them what to say and how to vote. Do you really think some one like palin could make a dicession on her own. Vote the repos out or go backwards in time.

    October 13, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. stufit

    With all of the time and effort the adminstrtion has put in to Feingolds reelection, including those stupid speeches in Madison, where the inept, incompetent, corrupt, lying, union toady president tried to fire up his base by tellling more lies, this woudl be a sweet pick up for those of us who acutally work and pay taxes.

    October 13, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    CNN put a liberal spin on the Nevada Senate race to encourage the lefties, but exactly which poll in the far Southwest Corner of Mexico has this result. The gap is just too great to do the same thing in Wisconsin?

    October 13, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. snick

    This photo is wrong. The Ron Johnson shown here is the Apple Vice President, not the Wisconsin businessman.

    October 13, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Feingold is the ONLY Senator besides McFlip-Flop that has personally authored bills to clean-up the sleaze in Washington. He championed a bill for finance reform. Look it up in google or wiki and do your OWN homework Wisconsin. Don't be brainwashed by the GOP Fox Clones into voting for Johnson. First do your homework and decide very carefully who better represents the people (Feingold).

    October 13, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Century21

    Somebody has been in Washington too long...

    October 13, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  11. D. Bunker

    I can't imagine why any sane and rational woman (or male for that matter) would prefer and unproven corporate GOBP over an honorable man who has proven over and over and over that he stands with the average Main St. American instead of the billionaire globalists supporting the GOBP. Electing Johnson would be like hiring a pedophile to run a preschool or the captain of the Titanic to run a cruise ship.

    October 13, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    From the state that gave us "Tail Gunner" Joe McCarthy and his anti-anybody he didn't like the looks of campaign, you now have the chance to repeat the stupidty and prove that you weren't paying attention from 2001-2008. You'll get what you deserve if you put the GOP in charge of Wisconsin.

    October 13, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. Randy

    What a shame one of the few honest politicians the Senate has is going to a victim of the economic recession he tried to prevent. Now Americans will be governed by corporations 24/7 day and night.

    October 13, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    You're welcome! 🙂

    October 13, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. Peter Sky

    The Pew Research Organization just published a new report, reversing their earlier findings, that the abandonment of land lines by the young and urban in favor of cell phones alone, has caused a huge bias (~7 pts) in this year's polls. Thus, when the predicted GOP landlside does not come to fruition in November, I hope the newly dysphoric will not start waving their guns around and crying, "Voter fraud!"

    October 13, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Shari from Madison

    This is bad news. Another case where a Republican is winning because he is being bought and paid for by the Rich and powerful. Ron Johnson is an idiot. Feingold hasn't been perfect but he still is a much better choice than Johnson. Why can't people see that Johnson is bought and paid for? Wake up people!!!!

    October 13, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. stufthis

    Johnson has a history protecting pedophile priests, but even as a low life, he is still ahead.

    October 13, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. Carl

    Good – we need more corporate influence in DC and fewer aisle crossers/moderates. Additionally, fundamental science has no place in political discourse. Ron Johnson will help take back america, like he helped the catholic church take back its right to not be sued for protecting pedophile priests. Thats how our founders would have wanted it.

    October 13, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. LacrosseMom(real one)

    It IS ONLY........3....... POINTS! Wisconsin WILL do the right thing and reelect Russ Feingold. Fact of the matter is that the GOP-Koch-TeaParty, have terrible memories! Just ......a.......mere....... 22.......... months ago ....... our Nation was on the brink of a 2nd Great Depression. There is still a lot of work left to do to RESTORE America to PROSPERITY, however the way to PROSPERITY is NOT to go BACKWARDS to the failed policies of the GOP-Koch-TeaParty!

    I ask America, what have the Republicans done lately? Because saying NO to everything is NOT leadership!

    October 13, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. Hugo

    If you like unemployment, handouts, fees, tax hikes, food stamps and more of the four years then vote Democrat.
    If you like hard work, making money to your ability, self responsibility, and above all believe in the fundamental aspects as defined within the Constitution of the United States, then vote Republican.

    October 13, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. astro24102

    Lets wish the career politicians goodbye. please

    October 13, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. supernova

    Of all the candidates, Feingold is the least beholden to lobbyists, the most consumer oriented, a stalwart champion of the little guy, and the most principled in terms of his job. It would be a crying shame if the people of Wisconsin put in a Republican in his seat...the lobbyists would be licking their chops!!!

    October 13, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Diogenes

    I just attended a family wedding in Wisconsin and drove about to see the trees changing color. Feingold is loosing the signs in the yard by a 20/30 to one margin. In fact ALL incumbents seemed to be the same. Given the local employment situation the wrath is toward all incumbents. Liberal job killing bills sound good in a perfect world (heathcare for the world and no more wars) but right now it is THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!

    October 13, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |