Republican Sen. Ron Johnson Faces Trouble in Wisconsin

If the GOP is to gain control of the Senate after November’s pivotal midterm elections, a key race to secure it is in Wisconsin. But trouble looms for the party and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) as multiple polls show him trailing Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

A new Trafalgar poll showed that if the election were held “today,” Barnes would receive 49.4% of the state’s vote to 47.1% for Johnson. Another survey conducted by the Marquette University Law School showed Johnson trailing Barnes by seven points.

Interestingly, that poll showed that four out of 10 Wisconsin voters did not know enough about Barnes to form an opinion.

Johnson is doing all he can to change that. Speaking to voters about his opponent last week, the senator said that Barnes is working to keep his real views out of the press and away from the people.

Johnson said Barnes wants to run a Joe Biden-style campaign and hide away in the basement if at all possible until after the election. He notes that the lieutenant governor has garnered support from five organizations that call for defunding the police.

Barnes, however, told the Wall Street Journal that defunding the police is not a position he favors.

Johnson also criticized comments Barnes made last year about the founding of the United States and the role of slavery in the country’s early history.

Barnes said then that the founding of the nation was “awful” and that “things were terrible.” He went on to say that the country should commit itself to repairing the harm caused during the nation’s founding because “it still exists today.”

The senator retorts that he does not know where Barnes gets “this radical leftism, this radical Marxism.” He accused the lieutenant governor of wanting to hide his “radical leftist positions.

Barnes tweeted a photo of a shirt saying “Abolish ICE.” As Johnson noted, if you hold that up on your social media, “you want to abolish ICE.”

The incumbent senator still has weeks to get Barnes’ statements and beliefs into the public’s mind. The Wisconsin seat is critical for the GOP’s chances to control the Senate after November, and a clear message about the radicalism of the challenger is imperative.