By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — With less than three months to go before the mid-terms, the race for Wisconsin governor is a statistical dead heat, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll.
Democrat incumbent Gov. Tony Evers leads newly minted Republican challenger Tim Michels 45% to 43%, but the numbers are within the poll’’s margin of error of +/-4.2 percentage points.
Businessman Michels last week won a bruising Republican primary to meet Evers in November’s general election.
Evers’ performance numbers continue to sag.
HIs job approval ratings declined to 47%, with 45% of poll respondents disapproving. That’s down 3 percentage points from February, when 50% of voters surveyed approved of the Democrat’s performance.
And a majority of respondents (56%) believe Wisconsin is headed in the wrong direction, with just 35% saying the state is on the right track. Confidence in the state’s direction has plummeted since the beginning of the COVID outbreak in spring 2020.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a Democrat, leads incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson 51% to 44% in MU Law School’s latest poll.
“Vote preference includes those who say they are undecided but who say they lean toward a candidate,” the poll notes.
Barnes wrapped up the Democratic Party primary last week in a cake walk, with his three closest competitors bowing out just days before the election. Johnson blew out his primary challenger.
In the June poll, Barnes edged Johnson 46% to 44%.
President Joe Biden remains as unpopular in the Badger State as ever.
The latest poll shows Biden’s approval rating at a mere 40%, the same as the June survey. His disapproval rating dropped slightly from 57% to 55%. Biden’s approval ratings in Wisconsin have long been buried under water.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin remains around even in her poll numbers, with 39% of respondents having s favorable opinion of the Madison Democrat and 37% viewing her unfavorably.