A poll released today by Marquette Law School finds Sen. Ron Johnson up six points among likely voters over his Democratic rival Mandela Barnes.

Among likely voters, Sen. Ron Johnson is supported by 52% and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is the choice of 46%. In September, among likely voters, Johnson received 49% and Barnes 48%. All vote results include undecided voters who lean to a candidate.

Over the past two months the likely voter results for the two candidates have basically reversed themselves. In August Barnes was up 52-45. In the current poll Johnson is up 52-46.

Looking at the breakdown by party it looks like the majority of that change has come from Independents who supported Barnes by a wide margin (55-40) in August but who are now supporting Johnson by six points (51-45). Barnes has also seen some weakening among his Democratic support. He was at 99% in August and is now down to 93%.

So it’s looking like David’s prediction Monday that Sen. Jonson is going to win this handily is starting to show up in the polling. FiveThirtyEight has Johnson up 2.9 points as of today (including the results of the Marquette poll). RealClear Politics has Johnson up an almost identical 2.8 points.

Politico published a story today about Barnes trying to turn the race around by going all in on abortion:

Wisconsin Democrat Mandela Barnes is looking to turn around his struggling Senate campaign after being battered by two months’ worth of attack ads labeling him soft on crime. His play: make the race a referendum on Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s record on abortion policy.

To reverse a slide in the polls, the Democratic lieutenant governor has debuted a “Ron Against Roe” tour of rallies, roundtables and canvassing. He’s launched a negative ad calling Johnson’s view on abortion “alarming.” And he’s gotten a boost from the top Senate Democratic super PAC, which has put up similar anti-Johnson spots…
“The trouble for Barnes is abortion is not a top-three issue for all voters or, more specifically, for independent voters,” said Bill McCoshen, a Wisconsin-based Republican strategist. “It appears to only motivate the Democratic base. Two weeks from now, the national Democrats could be pulling out of here because Johnson is starting to gain separation.”

That is the crux of Democrats’ problem. Abortion gets a segment of the base riled up but the majority of voters are more concerned about the economy and crime. On that latter issue, Barnes has done his best to present himself as a moderate who supports law enforcement. The problem is he has a long history of shooting his mouth off on Twitter. Last week CNN pointed out that, contrary to his campaign ads, he has indeed supported abolishing ICE and though he hasn’t directly said he wants to defund the police that seems to be the gist of his view.

The same Marquette poll also shows the race for governor in Wisconsin is now a dead head. Polling last month had Democrat incumbent Gov. Tony Evers up about 2 points, i.e. within the margin of error but still suggesting a slight edge. That edge has narrowed.

The governor’s race has tightened to a tossup: Among likely voters, 47% support Democrat incumbent Gov. Tony Evers, while 46% favor the Republican challenger, Tim Michels. The independent candidate, Joan Beglinger, is chosen by 4%, while 1% don’t know for whom they will vote. Beglinger ended her campaign on Sept. 6 but will remain on the November ballot. In September, among likely voters, Evers received 47%, Michels 44%, and Beglinger 5%.

FiveThirtyEight has Evers up less than half a point in its average of polls while RealClear Politics says it’s a tie. Democrats may have peaked too soon.

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