Election 2020

After a Campaign Season Down in the Polls, Ron Johnson Beats Feingold

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) thanks his supporters at an election night gathering in Oshkosh, Wis., on Nov. 8, 2016. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) enjoyed a surprise come-from-behind win against a comeback campaign from former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).

With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Johnson had 52 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Feingold, who was ousted from his Senate seat by Johnson in 2010.

Almost every single poll for more than a year showed the incumbent behind Feingold.

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he won because he “told the truth — and I think in the end Wisconsin had the common sense to recognize the truth and sincerity and seriousness of purpose.”

Johnson told supporters at his victory party that he wanted to spend his next term “concentrating on areas of agreement” with a shared goal of a “safe, prosperous and secure” state and country. “And we are concerned about each other,” he added.

Feingold apologized to his supporters for not getting “the job done,” and stressed “this could be one of the most challenging times in the history of our country.”