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Thompson's lead tightening in U.S. Senate race, according to Marquette poll

Thompson's lead tightening in U.S. Senate race, according to Marquette poll

By Jay Sorgi & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Aug 8, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

Click here to listen to Charles Franklin's conversation with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure"

MILWAUKEE - A new poll released Wednesday by the Marquette University Law School says that Tommy Thompson has a tight lead over his Republican Senate rivals.

"We're seeing a tightening of the race, but with (Tommy) Thompson still ahead by single digits," said the poll's author and Marquette University professor Charles Franklin to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."

Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor, owns a 28-20 percent lead over Madison businessman Eric Hovde, with former Wisconsin Congressman Mark Neumann at 18 percent and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald at 13 percent.

According to Franklin, "(Tommy) Thompson led by 20 (points) in June.  That was down to 12 (points) in July and it's down to 8 (points) now."

Franklin also noted that 21 percent of those polled were undecided.

The winner of next Tuesday's GOP Senate primary is expected to face Madison Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in the race for Democrat Herb Kohl's U.S Senate seat, which he is vacating due to retirement.

If Thompson faced Baldwin, he would have a 48 to 43 percent lead on her according to the Marquette poll.  A Baldwin-Neumann race would be a 44-all tie.

Baldwin would lead Hovde 44-41, while she would lead Fitzgerald 45-40.

Franklin believes that crossover Democrats voting in the GOP Senate primary would affect the outcome of the race.

The poll, conducted August 2 through August 5, included 1,400 registered voters, 1,188 likely November voters and 519 likely GOP voters.