Leah Vukmir rising in Wisconsin Senate primary poll
Wisconsin State Sen. Leah Vukmir is neck and neck with Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson in the GOP Senate primary, according to a new poll of likely voters.
Vukmir leads Nicholson by two points — 34 percent to 32 percent — in Marquette University Law School's latest poll. While that result is still well within the poll's margin of error, it shows Vukmir appears to be closing the gap with Nicholson.
Last month's Marquette poll found Vukmir down five points and the school's February poll found her behind by nine points.
The conservative state senator has the backing of state GOP bigwigs like House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Republican National Committee chairman and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. She also won the state party's endorsement during its spring convention.
Nicholson has remained undeterred even as key state party figures break in Vukmir's direction. He holds the fundraising advantage so far and has sought to highlight his own conversion from an active Democrat to a staunch Republican as a way to reach out to disaffected voters of all stripes.
Both candidates remain relatively unknown — more than 50 percent of both Republican and general election voters didn't have a favorable or unfavorable opinion on either Vukmir or Nicholson.
The winner of the Aug. 14 primary will go onto face Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who holds an 11-point-lead over Nicholson in a hypothetical matchup and a 9-point-lead over Vukmir.
Baldwin has a 41 percent favorability rating, slightly below the 43 percent who view her job performance unfavorably.