PPP's newest poll on the Wisconsin Senate race finds Tommy Thompson getting a bounce following his win in the Republican primary last week. He now leads Tammy Baldwin 49-44. Our last poll in early July had found them tied at 45%.
The main thing that's changed over the last six weeks is GOP voters getting on the same page. Thompson now leads by 89 points with Republicans, 93-4. Previously he had just a 77 point lead with them at 84-7. Clearly there are no lingering party unity issues despite Thompson's relatively low winning percentage in the primary. Thompson also leads by 3 points with independents, 45-42, after trailing 44-36 with them a month ago.
Thompson's net favorability has improved 10 points from last month. 46% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 43% with a negative one after the spread was previously 40/47. Most of that shift is a product of party unification after the primary- he's gone from 60/26 to 80/12 with Republicans. Baldwin has a narrowly negative favorability rating with 40% of voters rating her positively to 45% with an unfavorable opinion.
45% of Wisconsin voters say they want Republicans to have control of the US Senate to 44% for Democrats, so Thompson may be running a little bit ahead of a generic GOP candidate but this isn't a situation like Massachusetts where if Democrats can sufficiently nationalize the election Baldwin's position will improve significantly.
Baldwin's sexuality doesn't seem to be too much of an issue in the race. 64% of voters say they're open to supporting a gay candidate for office to only 23% who say they are not. Democrats (82/10) and independents (71/16) are overwhelmingly fine with supporting gay candidates. A plurality of Republicans (44%) say they aren't open to ever voting for a gay candidate to 39% who are, but those folks wouldn't likely be voting for Baldwin this year anyway.
-Scott Walker's poll numbers continue to hold up pretty well. 51% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove, and he likewise would lead a generic Democratic opponent by a 51-46 margin. Those numbers are basically identical to the results of the recall election.
-Democrats would probably be fine in the Senate race if Herb Kohl had run for reelection. He has the best net approval of the major politicians in the state at +12, with 48% of voters approving of him to 36% who disapprove. Voters are pretty evenly divided on Ron Johnson with 38% approving and 37% disapproving of him.
-Republicans have a slight lead on the generic legislative ballot, 45-44, reflecting a state that continues to be incredibly closely divided.
-Reince Priebus is an unknown to 60% of voters in his home state. Those who do have an opinion about him are pretty evenly divided with 19% rating him favorably and 21% unfavorably.
-59% of Wisconsin voters would be perfectly happy to pay 14 cents extra for a Papa John's pizza so that its employees can have health insurance to only 22% who say they would not be willing to. Republicans though by a 39/37 margin say they're not paying that extra 14 cents.
Full results here