Conflicting Polls Add Confusion in Tight Wisconsin Senate Race

Elisabeth Meinecke

11/5/2012 3:35:00 PM - Elisabeth Meinecke

As campaigns across the country squeeze in last minute appeals, polls released mid-to-late last week show that the Wisconsin Senate race remains tight, although one poll shows the Democrat candidate Tammy Baldwin regaining a lead over Republican Tommy Thompson.

That specific poll, the Marquette Law School Poll, shows some rather confusing results: it has Baldwin as of Oct. 31 enjoying a 47 to 43 percent advantage, compared to their next most recent poll of 46 to 45 percent advantage for Thompson. The poll also showed a similar trend in the presidential race, with Obama opening his lead in Wisconsin over Romney to 8 percentage points, whereas the previous poll showed Obama leading by 1. The key change, according to the poll summary, was independents reversing their trend of favoring the GOP candidate in both races. 

However, a Rasmussen poll, conducted the day after the Marquette Law School Poll concluded, actually showed Thompson and Baldwin, as well as Obama and Romney, tied.  In the Senate race, 2 percent were undecided, and 1 percent liked some other candidate. Rasmussen interviewed a smaller sample of likely voters, while the Marquette poll interviewed registered voters with all but approximately 200 of them being "likely voters."