Polls continue to show close race in Wisconsin elections

MADISON, Wis. — A series of polls that were released this week continue to show a close race for governor and U.S. Senate, which is what polling experts would expect at this stage of the campaign.

“I think we’re in a volatile time right now,” CNN polling and analytics editor Ariel Edwards-Levy told News 3 Now on Friday.

“We’re just getting to the point where people are really tuning in to elections,” she added, “and we’re going to see in the next couple of weeks a shaking out of how likely people are to vote and that’s going to give us a better sense.”

The polls reflect some of that indecision now — a recent Fox News poll shows Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican challenger Tim Michels tied at 47% each in the race for governor. It is a little bit further apart on the U.S. Senate side, where incumbent Ron Johnson leads challenger Mandela Barnes by four points, which is more than the margin of error.

Edwards-Levy remains a little wary to put too much stock into those polls, however.

“Wisconsin has been one of the states where there have been particular issues with polling in past cycles,” she said. “So I think that’s a reason to always approach this with a little bit of caution.”

“That said, what I think the polls do generally tell us, when you look at them as a whole, it’s probably going to be a close race,” she added.

It is a similar story with an AARP poll released this week. In the governor’s race, Michels had the edge over Evers 50%-47%, but the three-point spread was within the margin of error.

On the U.S. Senate side, Johnson leads Barnes 51%-46%, which is more than the 4.4-point margin of error.

The poll also showed older Wisconsinites are motivated to get to the voting booth, which marks a key demographic.

“Older Americans aren’t very reliable voters,” Edwards-Levy said. “Not to downplay the importance of younger voters, because especially in an election when you see high turnout, the youth vote can be important.”

Not only will Wisconsin’s November election be close, but she added that many eyes will be on the Badger state to see who wins — especially the race for U.S. Senate.

“I think it’s a key race right now, and I think it’s one that everybody’s watching closely,” Edwards-Levy said. “Ron Johnson is probably the most vulnerable Republican, and we’re also in a state where the Democrats need to pick up or hold a number of seats, or flip a number of seats, in order to keep the Senate — so every seat in these potentially close races counts.”