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Image: Democratic Senate Candidate Mandela Barnes Campaigns In Milwaukee
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes speaks with people during a campaign event at The Wicked Hop on Aug. 7, 2022 in Milwaukee.Scott Olson / Getty Images

Midterm elections roundup: A Barnes bump?

Johnson has a history of winning from behind, but new polling shows Barnes up 7 points.

By and

Wisconsin is one of the most pivotal states in the nation during this midterm election, home to key Senate and gubernatorial races, as well as other statewide and down ballot races with serious implications. 

That’s why Wednesday’s poll from Marquette University turned heads — the poll has Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes up 7 points over Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (in a less surprising revelation, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is up 2 points over Republican Tim Michels). 

Take Barnes’ big lead with a grain of salt, as Johnson is no stranger to winning from behind (and was down 6 points in Marquette’s August 2016 poll). Republicans also haven’t begun attacking Barnes, who just won the Democratic primary, in earnest.

Johnson, for his part, is attempting to rebrand himself ahead of November, telling NBC News’ Natasha Korecki, “I’m trying to tell people who I am.”

But the dynamic of Democratic candidates overperforming President Biden’s approval rating continues to be a significant story in this midterm cycle. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Alaska Senate: Abortion has emerged as a key dividing line between Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and her GOP challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, Bloomberg Government reports.

Florida Senate: The Brevard County sheriff’s office is investigating an altercation between a Republican tracker and Democratic Senate hopeful and Rep. Val Demings’ security detail, as the tracker claims he was pushed to the ground, per Politico. 

Pennsylvania Senate: Republican Mehmet Oz brushed aside the needling over a viral video of him shopping for a crudité platter that his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, has fundraised off of, telling Newsmax “I’ve rolled my sleeves up my whole life.’ 

Nevada Senate: The Nevada Independent reports on how the country’s first Latina senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, is trying to keep Latino voters in the fold despite the GOP’s recent gains with the demographic. 

Washington Senate: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray is up with a new ad that features footage from the Jan. 6, 2021 attack to argue “Our democracy is in real danger, it’s up to all of us to save it.” 

Maine-02: Politico profiles Democratic Rep. Jared Golden as he tries to overcome the national environment by showing voters that often he bucks his party

New York-10/12: Former President Donald Trump made a few sarcastic “endorsements” Wednesday of Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney and former impeachment counsel Dan Goldman. 

New York-22: The GOP super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund is going up with another $170,000 in ad spending before Tuesday’s primary, where it’s backing businessman Steve Wells in the open seat race.