The Washington Times - September 19, 2012, 03:03PM

Wisconsin Democrats are making a hard charge at keeping the state blue in this year’s presidential election and holding onto one of its two U.S. Senate seats, according to a poll released Wednesday afternoon.

A Marquette University poll shows President Obama with a surprisingly large lead of 54 percent to 40 percent over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and also shows Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin with a 50-41 lead in her Senate race against former GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.

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The presidential race had tightened in Wisconsin since Mr. Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate last month, but recent polls have suggested that the resulting GOP bump has begun to dissipate as Democrats are experiencing a post-convention surge in support.

Mr. Obama’s 14-point lead in Wednesday’s poll dwarfs the 3-point lead that he held in a poll last month by the university.

A CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows Mr. Obama leading by 6 points in the Badger State, increasing the 2-percentage-point lead he had in a poll last month by the same pollster.

Marquette pollsters said their latest results indicate a major shift within the state, but they acknowledged that the sampling of 601 likely voters was slightly skewed toward Democrats.

Pollsters said Republicans were underrepresented in the survey, as 34 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, just 27 percent as Republicans and 37 percent as independents.

They said the university’s previous surveys this year have had an average makeup of 34 percent Democrats and 32 percent Republicans.

If the most recent sampling was adjusted to match that average, pollsters said it would result in a smaller lead of 51 percent to 43 percent for Mr. Obama, and a 48-43 lead for Ms. Baldwin.