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Poll finds GOP may have tough election, but independents tilting

A new Wisconsin poll says Republicans have a tougher election challenge than Democrats this fall, but GOP legislative candidates will do better in courting independents.

The poll is from University of Wisconsin-Madison and

More than half the 506 likely voters said the state is on the wrong track.

The poll says Democrats are doing a better job of keeping their base.

Forty-nine percent said they'll vote for the Democratic Assembly candidate this fall, regardless of who it is.

Only 36 percent will do the same for a Republican candidate.

Among independents, the party vote for Assembly was split down the middle.

But independents who think the state's on the wrong track say they'd support a Republican by a 39-30 percent margin.

Thirty-two percent said the state's top priority should be to protect jobs, while 18 percent said to hold the line on taxes and government spending.

If Democrats gain three seats in November, they'll win the majority in the Assembly, to go along with their control of the Senate and the governor's office.

U.S. Senate Democrat Herb Kohl remains the state's most popular politician.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has more favorable indicators than unfavorables, despite a public rift between his department's top brass and two veteran investigators.