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Johnson Downplays Slipping Poll Numbers

Recent Survey Puts Incumbent U.S. Senator Down 14 Points On Democratic Challenger Feingold

Shamane Mills/WPR

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson brushed off recent poll numbers on Friday, saying the 14-point gap between him and likely opponent Sen. Russ Feingold is meaningless this early in the race.

The Marquette University Law School poll released on Wednesday showed former Feingold increasing his lead over Johnson. It put Democrat Feingold’s support among registered voters at 50 percent and Johnson trailing with 36 percent.

With the election more than a year away, Johnson said he’s not worried.

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“If you remember, I didn’t even start campaigning until about six months before the last election, which would be about the appropriate amount of time for a Senate race like this,” he said. “So I’m not paying attention to those things. They are completely meaningless.”

Still, political analysts included Johnson in a list of vulnerable incumbent senators facing election in 2016.

The Marquette poll indicated a substantial number of potential voters may be unfamiliar with both candidates. Of those surveyed, 45 percent said they didn’t know the candidates well enough to rate them as favorable or unfavorable.

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