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Politics & Government

Poll: Trump Loses Ground to Clinton in Wisconsin after Release of 2005 Video

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Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Southeastern Livestock Pavillion on October 12, 2016 in Ocala, Florida.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll was released on Wednesday. It says Democrat Hillary Clinton has the support of 44 percent of likely voters. Republican Donald Trump, meanwhile, has the backing of 37 percent of likely voters.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, had the backing of nine percent of likely voters, while Jill Stein of the Green Party captured three percent. Six percent of voters surveyed remain uncommitted.

The previous survey was released on September 21 and showed Clinton had the backing of 41 percent of likely voters, to Trump's 38 percent. Eleven percent of likely voters favored Johnson, while three percent backed Stein.

"We were perfectly positioned to measure the instant, immediate impact of the developing story about this video. Does that mean that these differences will persist? We have no way of knowing." -- Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin

The new survey was conducted last Thursday through Sunday, concluding prior to Sunday night's debate between Clinton and Trump. Because of its timing, the poll captured the sentiments of voters both before and after the release of a controversial 2005 video of Trump. It showed the GOP nominee boasting that because he was a celebrity, he felt free to kiss and grope women

Trump has dismissed the comments as "locker room" talk. However, he's been widely criticized, including by a number of key Republicans.

Poll Director Charles Franklin says over the course of the days the poll was in the field, support for Trump plummeted. Franklin says on Thursday -- the day before the video was released -- Trump led Clinton by one percentage point.

On Friday, Clinton was back in front, with a lead over Trump of six percentage points. Franklin says on Saturday and Sunday, combined, Clinton led Trump by 19 percentage points.

"We were perfectly positioned to measure the instant, immediate impact of the developing story about this video. Does that mean that these differences will persist? We have no way of knowing. Usually, really big changes kind of come back, some. But we don't know, and so rather than pretend to have a crystal ball, let's say this gave us a good picture of what happened this weekend, prior to the debate," Franklin says.

The poll also surveyed voters in the race for U.S. Senate. GOP incumbent Ron Johnson is fighting off a challenge from Democrat and former senator Russ Feingold. According to the poll, 46 percent of likely voters support Feingold, while 44 percent favor Johnson. The Libertarian, Phil Anderson, has the backing of four percent, while five percent did not express a preference.

Johnson gained ground since the September survey, which showed Feingold with 44 percent, Johnson with 39 percent and Anderson with seven percent. Ten percent of voters in that poll did not give a preference.

The next Marquette Law School Poll will be released on Wednesday Nov. 2, less than a week before Election Day.

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