One could almost hear the collective sighs of relief of Republicans from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., on Monday night, as the final poll in the Badger State's nationally watched Senate race gave incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., his biggest-ever lead.
According to the just-completed Data for Progress poll, two-termer Johnson leads Democrat opponent and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes by 53%-47% among likely voters. For months, polls of all stripes have shown the two contenders tied or separated by one or two percentage points.
Less than a week ago, the respected Marquette University School of Law poll showed Johnson edging the challenger by 50% to 48%.
"Johnson is Johnson," Van Mobley, president of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Thiensville, Wisconsin, told Newsmax, "...a very tough, efficient campaigner."
He cited Johnson's hard-hitting performance in televised debates with Barnes, considered a dynamic speaker and billed by admirers as "the next Barack Obama."
Mobley added, crime is "the No. 1 issue here" and, over the past few weeks, Johnson supporters have unleashed a television salvo underscoring Barnes' past criticism of police and tied the Democrat to the defund the police movement (Barnes has said he opposes defund the police).
Another spot shows Barnes with Rep. Alexandria "AOC" Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., and other members of the leftist "Squad" in the House and concludes with the words: "Mandela Barnes— Different," and then changes "different" to "dangerous."
The ads are independent of the Johnson campaign and the work of a group known as Wisconsin Truth, which is funded by Afton (WI) billionaire Diane Hendricks.
Mobley and other Johnson supporters feel the last-minute trend toward the Republican senator could help put GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels over the top in his neck-and-neck race with Democrat Gov. Tony Evers.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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