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As I See It

Polls show independent voters could be key in Wisconsin Senate race



The November mid-term elections are now just two months away. Plenty can change in eight weeks, but a reading of the political tea leaves offers some insight into what may happen on November 9. The Marquette University Law School poll suggests independent voters may decide the outcome. Apparently there are still some voters who don’t identify as red or blue, and that appears to be a boon to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes. In the latest poll, it is not surprising that 95% of die-hard Democrats support Barnes, while 92% of die-hard Republicans favor his opponent, incumbent Republican Ron Johnson. That doesn’t leave a lot of room in the middle, but those independents favor Barnes by a large margin over Ron Johnson. Independents favor Barnes by 14 percentage points over Johnson, enough to give Barnes a seven-percentage point lead over Johnson overall. That is a significant change from just three months ago, when the candidates were tied among independents. Of course that only matters if these independent voters, typically the least likely to vote, actually go to the polls on election day. And plenty can change in two months. But this poll must be a boon to Barnes who could potentially shift the balance of power in the U.S. Senate with a win.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Eric Steinert

    September 9, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    From what I have heard and read about Mr. Barnes, I am impressed. I think Wisconsin has a history of supporting a change candidate, and perhaps even an underdog. Mr. Barnes has incredible credentials and precise background suited for this moment. Wisconsin would gain a lot from a democrat in this senate seat and I believe Mr. Johnson is vulnerable for a host of reasons. All this isn’t to say it will be easy… but it’s in the realm of possibilities at this point.

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