The Senate race between Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic former Sen. Russ Feingold is tightening, according to a new poll of Wisconsin voters.
In the last Marquette University Law School Poll, conducted about a month before Feingold announced his candidacy in May, the longtime senator held a 54-38 lead against Johnson, who ousted him in 2010.
According to Thursday's Marquette poll, conducted Aug. 13-16, Feingold's lead has gotten smaller. Among registered voters, Feingold now receives 47 percent, compared to Johnson's 42 percent.
That's a "noticeable tightening," but not a surprising one, said poll director Charles Franklin.
But despite Feingold having served 18 years in the Senate and Johnson being a current officeholder, many voters still don't know enough about the candidates to have an opinion.
Twenty-seven percent of voters have no opinion of Feingold, up slightly from 26 percent in April. For Johnson, 38 percent have no opinion, down a tick from 39 percent in April.
"Sen. Johnson has been high in non-recognition, non-rating, compared to Sen. Baldwin over that period of time ... now, Baldwin did run more recently than Johnson," Franklin said. "Sen. Johnson does seem to be less well-known than a number of other senators, though I wouldn't say he's totally unique (in that)."
In Thursday's poll, Sen. Tammy Baldwin earned a 36 percent favorable rating, down from 39 percent in April. Twenty-four percent had no opinion, compared to 23 percent in April.