A second statewide poll this week shows President Barack Obama ahead of Governor Mitt Romney with less than a week to go before Election Day.
According to the Wisconsin Public Radio/St. Norbert Survey, President Obama holds a nine-percentage point lead over his Republican challenger. Fifty-one percent of likely voters said if the election were held today, they would back Barack Obama. Forty-two percent supported Mitt Romney.
The economy was the biggest reason most Romney supporters gave for their choice. Obama's main support came from being perceived as pro-middle class. Second to that issue was his record in the White House.
"Most of the people in that category did say he's (Obama) done a good job and most of the people would qualify, given what he started out with, or some people blamed Congress," said Wendy Scattergood, and assistant political science professor at St. Norbert College who oversees the survey. " Most people talked about what he started out with; how bad the economy was when he took over."
Forty-one percent of the 400-some Wisconsin residents polled said the national economy has improved since last year. A majority -- 51percent -- said Romney would better control the federal deficit. Obama was seen as better able to handle national security and health care.
Senate: Narrow lead for Thompson
The race for U.S. Senate remains close, with Republican Tommy Thompson narrowly leading Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
Forty-six percent of likely voters surveyed support Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services secretary. Forty-three percent said they'd vote for U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin if the election were held today. More people who described themselves as independent voters supported Thompson. Scattergood says the survey found 43 percent of Independents leaning toward Thompson.
"Baldwin has 37-percent of Independents and 14-percent of Independents are undecided in the senate race," she says. "And Independents are slightly more willing to change their mind "
Scattergood says a large number of survey respondents used jargon taken directly from campaign ads to say why they supported or opposed a particular candidate.