Election /

Ron Johnson Leads Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin Senate Race

Support for Johnson grew significantly among independent voters in the last month

Senator Ron Johnson remains favored to win the Wisconsin Senate race.

The Republican was first elected in 2010 and is currently seeking his third term in office.

A new poll from the Marquette University Law School found that 52% of voters intend to support the incumbent over his Democrat challenger, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. One month earlier, Johnson lead Barnes by just 1%.

Both candidates are very popular among their respective parties with 93% of Democrats planning to support Barnes and 96% of Republicans supporting Johnson.

Johnson is considered more favorable among independent voters in Wisconsin, leading Barnes 51% to 45%. This marks a notable shift among independents, 55% of whom supported Barnes in August while 41% planned to back Johnson, per WKOW.

Barnes became Lieutenant Governor in 2019. He previously served as a state representative. The Wisconsin native has championed pro-abortion positions during his campaign as well as increasing taxes for wealthy residents to support Social Security.

“If we get rid of Ron Johnson, if we pick up one more Senate seat, we can get rid of the filibuster,” said Barnes at a rally on Oct. 8 while wearing a Planned Parenthood pin. “We can change the way business is done in Washington; we can finally get to work for working people in this country. We can codify the right to choose and protect abortion access. We can have more than a Democratic majority, we can have a pro-choice majority.”

Johnson has opposed South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s 15-week abortion bill although he has described the repeal of 1973’s Roe v. Wade as a “victory,” per Yahoo! News

He has also gone on the offensive while campaigning, criticizing Barnes’s lack of action to prevent crime including advocating to cut police budgets and authoring legislation to eliminate cash bails when crime rates are increasing in Wisconsin.

While denouncing the security breach at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, Johnson said Barnes has permitted riots in Kenosha following the 2020 death of George Floyd 

“I also condemned the 570 riots that occurred during the summer. So many people ignored those. The lieutenant governor has made excuses for those rioters saying ‘Well what do you expect? They’re frustrated,'” said Johnson during the October senatorial debate according to Fox News. “If you want to talk about rioting, we should take a look at what happened in Kenosha.”

Johnson said that “after the first night of rioting, when a used car lot was set on fire,” Barnes “gave a press conference” that ultimately “incited a riot” rather than “trying to calm things down.” 

“He and the governor did not provide the manpower to stop the riots,” the Senator continued. “So, if you’re going to focus on a riot, why don’t we focus on the 570 riots … 2,000 police officers injured.”

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