The Washington Times - June 20, 2012, 06:35PM

Former GOP Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson holds an 8-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in a hypothetical matchup for the Badger State’s open U.S. Senate seat, according to a new independent poll.

Results of the Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Mr. Thompson with a 49 percent to 41 percent advantage among likely voters.


Mr. Thompson also holds the lead among those planning to vote in the Aug. 14 Republican primary; 34 percent of likely primary voters said they would support him, followed by 16 percent for former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, 14 percent for businessman Eric Hovde and 10 percent for state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

A substantial 25 percent said that they were undecided or didn’t know whom they would support in the Republican primary.

In other possible match-ups for the November Senate election, the survey showed Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Neumann tied at 44 percent each, while the congresswoman holds a 6-percentage point advantage over Mr. Fitzgerald and a 9-point edge over Mr. Hovde.

In the presidential race, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for President Obama, while 43 percent back former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In the previous Marquette Law School Poll taken in late May, Mr. Obama led by 51-43.

The poll was conducted June 13 through Saturday using landline and cell phone. The hypothetical November match-ups have a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, while the Republican primary results have a margin of error of 5.4 percentage points.