Get ready Wisconsinites for yet another closely watched, competitive election year. That’s according to the latest results from a Marquette University Law School poll released late last month. The poll of 803 registered voters suggests that the high profile primary races among Republicans for the job of Governor and for United States Senator among Democrats are equally shaping up to be tight contests with less than a month to go until the August 9 primaries. These two races, in particular, are important politically because they could ultimately decide which party controls the U.S. Senate and/or whether the state of Wisconsin will continue with split party governance or have one party control of the legislative and executive branches next year.
In the now, five-way Republican gubernatorial primary that determines who will face off against first-term, incumbent Democrat Governor Tony Evers, business owner Tim Michels and former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are running in a neck-and-neck race with Michels having a slight lead of 27 percent among Republicans and Independents who say they will vote in the GOP primary. Kleefisch received support from 26 percent of primary voters, Kevin Nicholson had 10 percent, and Tim Ramthun had 3 percent. Nicholson has since suspended his campaign and it remains to be seen which of the remaining candidates will pick up his supporters.