(Yawn). A new poll from Rueters-Ipsos show Ron Johnson with a seven point lead over Sen. Russ Feingold — 51 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. It’s funny to think that less than a month ago, this would have been considered shocking news.
According to the poll, voters think Johnson, a local plastics manufacturer, is “the best person to help generate jobs in Wisconsin,” by a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent compared to Feingold.
Voters see Feingold, on the other hand, as “part of the problem with politics right now in this country,” by a 42 to 28 percent margin (see here for more on Feingold’s problem with the number 42). Just the latest in a long series of troubling signs for the embattled incumbent:
“With some of the right messaging and campaigning and higher Democratic turnout than anticipated, Feingold could pull this back down, I suppose, but it’s not looking very good right now,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.
Voters said Feingold’s support for Obama’s healthcare reform this year made little difference to their preference.
Clark said Feingold is likely suffering from an anti-incumbent backlash against Washington.
“I don’t think it’s that he’s seen as incompetent or weak on any particular issue, I think it’s simply that this is a race where there’s a very specific set of circumstances that means incumbency is no good thing,” she said.
No doubt many Democrats would like blame all their midterm woes on “anti-incumbency” fever, but if they think that’s a sufficient explanation for why a state that voted 56 percent for Obama in 2008 is now poised to elect a Republican Governor and Senator by significant margins, and potentially flip three Democrat-held House seats this cycle, they likely do so at their own peril.