State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) may have the momentum in the GOP Primary for U.S. Senate. In the latest Marquette University Law School poll, Vukmir now leads Delafield business consultant Kevin Nicholson 34 percent to 32 percent.
However, the result is well within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 7 percent, the larger margin of error the result of the smaller sample size of just Republicans participating in the Marquette poll. The poll was conducted July 11-15, 2018, after Vukmir received the endorsements of House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI05), Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI07) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI06).
The Republican primary is August 14. The winner will take on Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in November.
Vukmir’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday celebrating the results of the poll.
“Leah Vukmir is winning this race because she is the obvious, proven choice to beat Tammy Baldwin and be Wisconsin’s next U.S. senator,” said campaign manager Jess Ward. “The last two polls show that momentum has been with Leah ever since she earned the endorsement of the grassroots of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and now Speaker Ryan, Congressmen Sensenbrenner, Duffy and Grothman and the NRA. Conservative voters know they can count on Leah to work with President Trump to cut wasteful spending, drain the swamp and build the wall.”
The lead for Vukmir is a reversal of previous Marquette poll results. In June, Nicholson led in the Marquette poll 37 percent to 32 percent.
While the Marquette Poll shows a lead for Vukmir, the poll also shows that the race is still wide open. The poll shows 30 percent of Republican primary voters are still undecided. Among self-identified Republican primary voters, 56 percent still don’t know enough about Nicholson to have a favorable or unfavorable view of him. For Vukmir, 51 percent don’t know enough about her to have a favorable or unfavorable view of her.
Baldwin received good news from the poll, too. When poll respondents were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable of the senator, she was viewed favorably by 41 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 40 percent, with 18 percent not able to give a rating. In June the senator had a 41 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable rating, while in March her rating was 37 percent favorable and 39 percent unfavorable. The margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.
The enthusiasm gap favors the Democrats, with 69 percent of Democrats very enthusiastic about voting in this year’s elections compared to 62 of Republicans.