Wisconsinites are worried about the economy, and more of them think Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson is the best Senate candidate to help fix it, according to a new poll released by a Madison multimedia partnership.

Johnson, the Republican nominee, leads Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold 49 percent to 41 percent — although the lead is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. The numbers square with several other recent polls in which the political newcomer leads the 18-year Senate veteran.

Feingold said Thursday that he has internal polling numbers that show him with a slight lead.

Commissioned by We the People, of which the State Journal is a partner, the poll questioned 400 people between Sept. 29 and Oct. 4.

Respondents were questioned on a series of issues aside from the Senate race, including the governor's race, which issues most affected their decisions and which party they wanted representing them in Madison.

The economy topped the list of concerns with 21 percent. Also scoring high was government spending at 17 percent and unemployment at 14 percent.

Of the 400 polled, 81 percent were older than 45. The largest percentage of respondents (31 percent) were 65 and older.

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