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Feingold in trouble in Wisconsin senate race

Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold and his chief Republican challenger Ron Johnson remain locked in a neck-and-neck battle for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Wisconsin finds Johnson with 47% support, while the Democrat earns 46% of the vote. Two percent (2%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided. This is the third straight month with Feingold attracting 46% of the vote and all three months have shown a close race. A month ago, Johnson had 45%. Two months ago, Johnson was at 44%. Feingold was reelected in 2004 with 55% of the vote but like many Democratic incumbents nationwide is running into a lot of unhappiness in the electorate. The closeness of the race has prompted Feingold, a member of the Senate since 1993, to begin airing a radio ad last week portraying himself as a political outsider. Wisconsin is one of nine Toss-Up states in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings. Johnson still faces a primary challenge from fellow businessman Dave Westlake. State Republicans will pick their nominee in a September 14 primary, but Johnson is expected to prevail. If Westlake is the GOP nominee, Feingold has a much easier time for now. Feingold picks up 51% support in that match-up, while Westlake earns 37%. Six percent (6%) favor another candidate, and six percent (6%) more are undecided. In match-ups with Westlake dating back to February, Feingold has captured 47% to 51% of the vote. Westlake’s support has run from 35% to 41%. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Wisconsin was conducted on July 13, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. Feingold captures more than 90% of the Democratic voter against either Republican. Johnson picks up 93% of the GOP vote, while Westlake earns 75% support in his own party. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Johnson by 16 points but break even if Westlake is the Republican in the race. Only eight percent (8%) of all Wisconsin voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while nearly half (49%) describe it as poor. Thirty-two percent (32%) say the economy is getting better, but 41% think it is getting worse. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say the country is in a recession. Voters in the state are evenly divided over whether the $787-billion economic stimulus plan passed by Congress has helped or hurt the economy. That’s a much more positive assessment than is offered by voters nationwide.[ Still, just 27% in Wisconsin think the stimulus plan created new jobs. Fifty-six percent (56%) disagree and say no new jobs were created by the spending. Sixty-one percent (61%) say cutting taxes is a better way than increased government spending to create jobs. Only 18% think increased spending is a better idea. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Wisconsin voters favor repeal of the new national health care plan, while 40% oppose repeal. This is in line with voter sentiments nationally. The findings in Wisconsin include 42% who Strongly Favor repeal and 28% who Strongly Oppose it.

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