An internal poll projects a neck and neck race between Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and current Sen. Ron Johnson for a U.S. Senate seat in the 2022 midterms.
According to the survey, which was conducted by Clarity Campaign Labs from September 8 – 11, 43 percent of likely general election voters chose Barnes and 43 percent decided to stick with incumbent Sen. Johnson. The survey was conducted with 756 likely general election voters and has a +/- 3.6 percent margin of error.
The poll report states:
On the heels of primary polling showing Mandela Barnes leading the Democratic field by 29 points, recent new general election polling demonstrates Barnes is the candidate best-positioned to take on Ron Johnson. Barnes is tied with Johnson in the head-to-head, a sign of Barnes’ latest strength and indicating serious weakness on the part of the 11-year incumbent.
2022 #WISen General Election Poll:
— PollTracker (@PollTrackerUSA) September 26, 2021
According to the poll, Barnes is the “most liked candidate in the field.”
The poll report states:
With a net favorability of +2, Barnes is the only candidate who is viewed favorably by general election voters. All other candidates tested have a favorability that is underwater (Johnson 40% favorable/ 41% unfavorable; Godlewski 11% favorable/ 23% unfavorable; Lasry 14% favorable/21 % unfavorable).
Mandela has long held far-left views throughout his varied political career in Wisconsin. When he was a state senator in 2013, he joined several other Democrat constituents in promoting extreme gun control legislation. The bill would have made intentionally selling, transporting, or possessing “any bullet that expands or flattens easily in the human body is guilty of a class H felony.”
“Not only would this outlaw 99% of all self-defense ammunition on the market, it would also outlaw most hunting ammunition,” Breitbart News previously reported.
Mandela also attended a “Justice for Jacob” rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 29, 2020. The rally was in support of Jacob Blake, a black man who while reportedly armed, was shot in the back by police after resisting arrest. Leftists subsequently terrorized Kenosha — four days before Mandela attended a mostly peaceful rally, Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard.
Both Mandela and Evers faced a recall effort in the wake of the Kenosha riots, though the bid was ultimately unsuccessful.
Support for Johnson, who has been an outspoken critic of Democrat President Joe Biden, has reportedly dipped, according to recent polls. An August Marquette University Law School poll found that 35 percent of voters approved of Johnson and 42 percent disapproved. That number was down from last October, when 38 percent of voters had a favorable opinion, compared to 36 percent who viewed him unfavorably.
Johnson has not announced yet whether he will run for reelection in 2022, though Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) contended in August that he expects the senator to make an announcement “in the next few months.” Johnson has held the Senate seat since 2010.
Overall, Wisconsin is a toss-up. President Joe Biden won the state by a narrow margin in the 2020 election, and the state voted for Evers, a Democrat, in 2018. However, Republicans have dominated the state House and state Senate for ten years.
According to the same Marquette poll, Wisconsin residents are not happy about the direction of the economy under Democrat Biden. Out of those polled, 23 percent said the economy improved over the past year, with 51 percent saying the economy is worse than it was a year ago. Just 46 percent said they approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 48 percent said they disapprove. In the last statewide poll that asked about approval of the president’s handling of the economy—taken in October 2020—Trump got 51 percent approval.
“The poor showing of Biden on economic numbers will be welcome news to Republicans looking to the 2022 elections. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is a top target of Democrats and holding his seat is viewed by political strategists as crucial to Republican hopes to regain control of the Senate,” Breitbart News reported.