Thompson Still Leads; Undecideds Still Many


The latest poll from Marquette University shows Tommy Thompson still leading the Republican U.S. Senate primary field. But one in five likely voters remain undecided.

The last time Marquette surveyed likely Republican primary voters, 35-percent said they’d support former Gov. Thompson. That’s down to 28-percent in Marquette’s August survey. 20-percent say they would back hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, 18-percent prefer former Congressman Mark Neumann and 13-percent back Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

21-percent of those surveyed remain undecided. Poll Director Charles Franklin says that’s unusually high for this late in the race, “We are in the situation where if that 21-percent makes up their mind and breaks hard we could see some shifts between now and Tuesday. But we go into the weekend with unusual levels of undecided voters.”

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When those undecided voters were pressed to say which way they’re leaning, they spread out among all four candidates so that Thompson still leads by a similar margin. And Franklin says that when you focus in on likely primary voters with a negative view of Thompson, they also spread out among Hovde, Neumann and Fitzgerald, “That’s a good example of how an even split among the alternatives is keeping any of the three alternatives to Thompson from skyrocketing and pulling far ahead.”

When the survey is expanded to look at likely November voters, Thompson leads Democrat Tammy Baldwin 48-to-43 percent. Neumann and Baldwin are tied and she polls slightly ahead of both Hovde and Fitzgerald.