Talking Points Memo: Poll: Democrats Poised To Keep Wisconsin Senate Seat In 2012

March 3, 2011- Sen. Herb Kohl (D) is in solid position to hold his seat if he runs for reelection in 2012, according to a new PPP poll. But if he retires, as some observers believe he will, Democrats could still hold the seat if they nominate a progressive favorite in Kohl's place: former Sen. Russ Feingold.

Kohl and Feingold held strong leads over every Republican challenger thrown their way in the survey, making it seem at least for now like the GOP would have a tough time flipping another Wisconsin Senate seat.

In the poll, Kohl topped Rep. Paul Ryan 49% to 42%, led former former Rep. Mark Neuman 51% to 37%, and bested Attorney General JB Van Hollen 52% to 3%. Meanwhile, Feingold led by almost identical margins, topping Ryan 49% to 42%, Neuman 50% to 40%, and Van Hollen 51% to 39%.

Feingold was one of many Democratic causalities in last year's midterm elections, losing his reelection bid to businessman Ron Johnson. He has since formed a PAC and taken a teaching job at Marquette University. And thought he has made no indication of his future political aspirations, he concluded his concession speech by declaring he was looking forward to 2012 and the "next big adventure."


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