Poll Shows Ron Johnson Losing To Democrat Challenger In Wisconsin

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A newly available poll conducted by Clarity Campaign Labs for Wisconsin Democratic Senate pick Mandela Barnes found the Democratic contender two percent ahead of incumbent Republican Ron Johnson among overall likely voters — and, as the organization highlighted, 17 percent ahead among independents.

Polling in Wisconsin has shown a close race, with other recent surveys finding Johnson in the lead. Final results in Wisconsin might not be available right away, because authorities there are required to wait until Election Day itself to start processing ballots, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s not the case elsewhere. In Florida, for instance, authorities can both process and count ballots before Election Day, meaning more comprehensive results could be more quickly available in that state. Arizona and Nevada are also in Florida’s category, and in all three states, highly watched Senate races are going before voters this year, so the beginnings of an idea of the outcome of the race for Senate control could take shape quickly on election night.

In Georgia, another state with a closely watched Senate race, authorities can process — but not count — ballots before Election Day. Nationwide, tens of millions of people have already voted, although it obviously remains to be seen how large of a share of the final vote that early voters comprise.

Across multiple metrics, early voters in this year’s elections have already surpassed levels seen in 2018. Per data from the political analytics firm TargetSmart, 2022 early voters already passed 19 percent of the total votes cast nationally in the 2018 midterms. In Wisconsin, some 343,000 ballots have been cast. Barnes appears to have passed Johnson — by a lot — in fundraising totals for the final stretch of this election cycle. From October 1 to October 19, Johnson raised $2.5 million in contributions from individuals. Barnes, meanwhile, hit $8.1 million in the same category. Johnson was ahead in cash on hand, meaning available funds, at the close of the reporting period, suggesting a lot of spending by the Barnes campaign.

As previously reported here, Johnson has faced criticism on numerous fronts, including his denial of the reality of climate change, dismissal of the truth of the riot at the Capitol, promotion of unhinged conspiracy theories about COVID-19 including imaginary “internment” camps, and advocacy for pieces of tax reform that would benefit highly wealthy families including donors of his. He’s also wanted to make Medicare and Social Security subject to annual budget negotiations in Congress, potentially imperiling their funding amid yearly inter-party financial fights. Johnson also helped facilitate the spread of long discredited conspiracy theories about the last election with a hearing at the Senate Homeland Security Committee, where he then served as chair.