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Image: Mandela Barnes
Mandela Barnes speaks to supporters at a rally outside of the Wisconsin State Capital building on July 23, 2022.Sara Stathas / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

New poll shows Mandela Barnes with lead over Ron Johnson

The newly minted Democratic Senate nominee holds a 7-point edge over the incumbent.


Two-term incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is trailing his Democratic opponent by seven points in the latest Marquette Law School poll.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who formally clinched the Democratic nomination last week, widened a two-point lead he held over Johnson in June with Wednesday’s survey showing 51% of respondents supporting Barnes over 44% who backed Johnson for November's election. 

Johnson’s unfavorable rating is at 47%, about the same as the 46% he had in June. Barnes’ unfavorable ratings are lower, at 22% and had a 37% favorability rating, but 30% of those surveyed answered they “haven’t heard enough” about the lieutenant governor, a much larger percentage than the 9% who said the same of Johnson.

Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to a reporter outside of the Senate Homeland Security hearing room on Aug. 3, 2022.
Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to a reporter outside of the Senate Homeland Security hearing room on Aug. 3, 2022.Bill Clark / AP file

The latest Marquette poll of 811 Wisconsin registered voters was conducted Aug. 10-15.

Johnson told NBC News on Tuesday he was working to reintroduce himself to Wisconsin voters through more biographical ads in the opening weeks of the race. 

Meantime, a head-to-head in the governor’s race shows a much closer match-up. Gov. Tony Evers received 45% support and GOP nominee Tim Michels got 43% — the two-point difference is within the poll's margin of error, which is plus or minus 4.2%. Independent candidate, Joan Beglinger, notched 7% in the poll. 

President Joe Biden’s approval stood at 40%, which was about the same as a survey in June. 

As for former President Donald Trump, 38% of those polled had a favorable opinion while 57% had an unfavorable opinion of him.