PPP's final poll on the Republican primary for Senate in Wisconsin continues to find a three way toss up: Eric Hovde's at 27%, Tommy Thompson's at 25%, Mark Neumann's at 24%, and even Jeff Fitzgerald isn't that far behind the rest of the pack at 15%.
The race has seen little movement in the last week. Fitzgerald's gained two points, Hovde and Neumann have each dropped by a point, and Thompson hasn't moved at all.
Some of the underlying numbers bode well for Hovde's prospects. Among voters who say they're 'very excited' about casting their ballots he leads with 37% to 20% for Fitzgerald, 19% for Neumann, and 17% for Thompson. In the Missouri and Texas GOP contests over the last two weeks Todd Akin and Ted Cruz had the most enthusiastic supporters and both ended up outperforming their final poll numbers. Hovde appears to be the candidate best positioned to do that here.
Hovde seems to have staked out the position as the candidate of the Tea Party in this race. He's at 36% with those voters to 21% each for Neumann and Thompson, and 17% for Fitzgerald. He's also leading with voters who categorize themselves as 'very conservative' with 30% to 22% for Neumann and 19% for Thompson.
In an unusual twist in the closing days of a pretty negative campaign all three candidates have seen their favorability numbers rebound to some extent in the last week. Hovde's improved 14 points from a net +20 last week to now +34 at 56/22. Neumann's seen a 13 point rise from +14 to now +27 at 55/28. Thompson's gone up 8 points from +6 to now +14 at 51/37. And Fitzgerald's also seen an 8 point gain from +22 to now +30 at 45/15.
9% of voters remain undecided. What's notable about them is that they rate Thompson unfavorably, with only 35% expressing a positive opinion of him to 38% with a negative one. Fitzgerald (41/13), Neumann (42/22), and Hovde (39/22) are all seen positively by them and seem a little bit more likely to pick up the remaining voters.
The bottom line on this race has been the same for the last couple weeks- it's an incredibly closely contested three way contest that really could go any way on Tuesday night.
Full results here