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Friday, August 18th, 2006 -- 10:03 AM

A new poll shows an area incumbent State Senator is in a tight, tight race.

Dave Zien (R-Wheaton) is facing a challenge from Democrat ? and former news anchor ? Pat Kreitlow in the 23rd State Senate district, which covers much of our listening area.

Last week, WisPolitics.com obtained a polling memo that shows Kreitlow was in a dead heat with Zien, each gathering 43 percent support with 14 percent undecided. The poll?s margin of error is 5 percentage points.

The poll, conducted May 21 and 22, was a survey of 401 likely voters and was conducted by Cooper & Secrest Associates of Alexandria, Va.

What troubles even Republican strategists is, the article says, is among voters who know the two candidates, Kreitlow led 53 to 39 percent, and 44-percent had a negative opinion of the flamboyant Zien.

The poll also found a generic Democrat would beat a generic Republican 45 percent to 33 percent in the district ? in part because of President Bush?s unpopularity.

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