Wed July 11, 2012
Poll shows Hovde and Thompson neck and neck in Senate race
A new poll shows a near dead-heat in the Republican primary for U-S Senate between hedge fund manager Eric Hovde and former Governor Tommy Thompson. The survey's release comes as a third Republican, former Congressman Mark Neumann, begins to ramp up his campaign.
The automated survey taken Thursday thru Sunday by the firm Public Policy Polling showed Hovde with a 31-to-29-percent edge over Thompson in a four-way Republican primary. Neumann was the choice of 15-percent of those polled while Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald was the first pick for nine-percent of respondents.
Public Policy Polling Director Tom Jensen says it shows Hovde has the momentum in this race, but he thinks either Hovde or Thompson could prevail in August. "It shows you that voters' preferences aren't really that firm," he says. "I think that this is probably sort of a soft lead for Hovde."
Jensen said the Republican primary was looking more like a two-person race, adding that it appeared some conservatives who were supporting Mark Neumann were now backing Hovde. Neumann largely dismissed the results, saying they were to be expected given Thompson's name recognition and the millions Hovde had spent on the race so far. "We feel very good that from here on out, we're not only competitive but we're very strong because we've obviously saved our resources for the last five weeks," he says.
Neumann unveiled an ad attacking President Obama's health care law that he said would air statewide.
The Public Policy Polling survey also found a dead heat between Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Hovde or Baldwin and Thompson in a November matchup. Jensen says that race could be one of the top two or three in the country in determining control of the US Senate.