WISCONSIN (WFRV) - New poll numbers show the democrats are making significant strides in the state, both in the race for the White House and Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat.
The Marquette University Law Poll released Wednesday shows both President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin with leads over their republican challengers.
According to the poll, Wisconsin voters now prefer Barack Obama to Mitt Romney, 54% to 40%. In August, the same poll showed Obama leading by just three points, 49% to 46%.
St. Norbert College Political Scientist Charley Jacobs said these numbers show how voters feel about each candidate, post-national conventions.
"I think what we're seeing now is that voters are letting the dust settle and starting to make some real choices and that includes focusing on the candidates themselves," Jacobs said. "Unaffected by these kinds of events and that's why I think you see Obama opening a slight lead."
In the race for the senate seat.. the poll shows democrat Tammy Baldwin now leading republican Tommy Thompson, 50 to 41%. That's a reversal of last month's poll, which had Thompson on top by that same margin.
Jacobs said Baldwin's surge could come from voters getting a better feel for the democrat.
"There's a pretty large comfort level, I would argue, among the voters in Wisconsin with Tommy Thompson," explained Jacobs. "They've made up their minds about him. He's been elected 4 times to the governor position and had positions with the national government so people knew him and we were either comfortable with him or not. But if they were still undecided, getting to know Tammy Baldwin could have been very important to them in making up their minds."
The Marquette poll has a margin of error of 3.8%.
The poll's director does caution, the respondents in this month's poll were more democratic than in previous polls.
"Our September poll makeup is about two points more Democratic and three points less Republican than average, which is within the margin of error," said Charles Franklin. "If the sample were adjusted to match the yearlong average partisan makeup, both margins would tighten, with Baldwin leading 48 to 43 percent and Obama leading 51 to 43 percent."