It looks as though Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin and DHHS Secretary in the Bush Administration, is about to enter the race for the Senate seat being left vacant by Herb Kohl. But Stu Rothenberg recently noted, after review a Club for Growth-sponsored poll, that Thompson may have a rough go of it in the GOP primary:
[W]hile Thompson would seem to be a formidable contender, a closer look suggests he won’t have an easy time winning the GOP nomination against a well-funded primary opponent.
A new Club for Growth poll shows how much of a challenge Thompson will face.
The club has already made it clear it doesn’t like Thompson (though it has no preferred alternative at the moment), so the fact that its survey raises questions about his ability to win his party’s nomination isn’t surprising. But dismissing the group’s poll would be a serious mistake.
The survey was conducted by Jon Lerner of Basswood Research, who conducts much of the Club for Growth’s polling. Lerner is highly regarded by political insiders, many of whom have found his surveys to be accurate and his analysis devoid of ideology or wishful thinking.
The July 26-27 survey of 500 respondents “with a history of voting in GOP primary elections” found Thompson with good name recognition (his “hard” name identification was 86 percent, meaning those respondents not only knew his name but had an opinion about him) and a “favorable” rating of 68 percent.