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Johnson leads Barnes by 4 points in new Emerson poll

The Hill logo The Hill 9/20/2022 Julia Shapero
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has a 4-point lead over Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, according to a new Emerson College poll released on Tuesday.

Forty-eight percent of very likely voters said they support the sitting senator, while 44 percent said they will vote for Barnes, according to the poll.

After winning the Democratic primary last month, Barnes briefly polled ahead of Johnson. However, Johnson has since closed the gap, and recent polling — including a Spectrum News-Siena College poll also released on Tuesday — showed the candidates within 1 percentage point of each other. 

Regardless of who they plan to support, 54 percent of respondents in the Emerson poll said they expect Johnson to win, compared to 46 percent expecting a win for Barnes.

More voters said they view Johnson favorably than said the same of the lieutenant governor. However, more voters also said they view the incumbent senator unfavorably than said the same of Barnes. The difference comes from the 9 percent of voters who said they were unsure of how they viewed Barnes, compared to 3 percent who said they were unsure on Johnson.

The Emerson poll was conducted from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18 with 860 very likely voters and had a margin of error of 3.27 percentage points.

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