Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes led his party rivals for U.S. Senate among Dem primary voters in Milwaukee County, according to a new poll commissioned by Milwaukee Works Inc.

But 29 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided as to which candidate to back in the crowded August 2022 primary field.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they backed Barnes, the former Milwaukee lawmaker who got into the race last month. State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, was backed by 15 percent. They were the only two to crack double digits of the eight candidates listed in the poll.

Milwaukee County is a key area in Dem primaries. In 2018, it accounted for just over 21 percent of the votes cast in a guv race that listed 10 candidates on the ballot.

So far, nine candidates have formally announced plans to run in the Dem primary.

Among the others who were listed in the survey:

*Dr. Gillian Battino was backed by 5 percent of respondents;
*Alex Lasry, the Milwaukee Bucks exec who’s on leave, was at 4 percent;
*Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis and state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski were supported by 3 percent each;
*Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson was at 2 percent;
*And Millennial Action Project founder Steven Olikara, who has formed an exploratory committee but isn’t formally in the race, was at 0 percent.

The poll didn’t list software developer Adam Murphy or Milwaukee attorney Peter Peckarsky as options.

The phone survey of 766 likely Dem primary voters was conducted July 27-29 by Remington Research Group. The sample was weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2022 Dem primary, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Remington Research Group received a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Milwaukee Works Inc. is a 501(c)(4) that focuses on issues of good governance in the Milwaukee metro area.

Other questions in the survey included ones on non-compete agreements, the voucher program and charter schools.

The survey also found 22 percent of Dem Milwaukee County voters signaled lowering crime and increasing neighborhood safety as a top concern out of seven options offered.

Seventeenth percent said increasing access to health care, while 16 percent said confronting climate change and protecting the environment. Achieving racial justice and equality was fourth at 12 percent.

See the poll overview here.

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