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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> Senate -- Wisconsin

Feingold Drops First TV Ad

Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) is airing his first TV ad of the campaign. The 30-second spot focuses on his work to cut the deficit and his vote against the 2008 bailout.

The ad comes a week after former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) declined to challenge the three-term Democrat. Feingold will likely face one of the following three Republicans: businessmen Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake, or former Wisconsin Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel, who is formally announcing his entrance to the race today.

Thompson Is Now Officially Out

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson told a Tea Party rally crowd in Madison that he will not challenge Sen. Russ Feingold, a major blow to Republican hopes of ousting the three-term Democrat. It came down to family considerations, Thompson said.

"My family did not want me to run," he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel moments before taking the stage at the rally.

A Republican source told RealClearPolitics yesterday that Thompson would not run. Thompson later told the AP he had not made up his mind.

Thompson had been leading Feingold in recent polling, while Feingold leads two other Republicans currently running, Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake. With Thompson out, state Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel is reportedly considering a bid.

WI Sen: Thompson Won't Challenge Feingold

A Republican source has told RealClearPolitics that former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will not challenge Sen. Russ Feingold (D).

A Milwaukee radio station first reported that Thompson is scheduled to announce his plans tomorrow at a Tea Party rally in Madison. While the AP now reports that Thompson hasn't made up his mind, he's still not expected to run.

The news is a major hit for Republicans. According to recent polls, Thompson represented the party's best chance to defeat the three-term senator. Feingold currently leads other potential opponents Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake by more than 10 points in the RCP Average, though that will likely shrink as Feingold has never been elected with more than 55 percent of the vote.

The latest poll, released earlier this month, found Thompson up by 12 points. He leads Feingold by 3.8 points in the RCP Average.

This is the second piece of bad news for Republicans in the last day. Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) announced yesterday that he will not challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), despite regularly leading her in polling.

The Thompson news is arguably a greater loss, however, since national Republicans never expected Pataki to run. It also makes the path to majority control of the Senate far narrower.

WI Sen Poll: Thompson Leads Feingold

In a new Rasmussen poll, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) fails to garner 50 percent against two announced Republican challengers, while he trails former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who has yet to say whether he will run. Thompson led Feingold by a similar margin last month.

Feingold's resume and bank account make him formidable, even in an anti-incumbent year, but his polling numbers -- sub-50 percent against businessmen Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake, and behind Thompson -- could be a sign of trouble ahead for the three-term senator.

Thompson 48
Feingold 43

Feingold 47
Wall 39

Feingold 47
Westlake 37

The survey was conducted Feb. 17 of 500 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.

WI Sen Poll: Thompson Beats Feingold

Tommy Thompson (R), the former four-term Wisconsin governor and secretary of Health and Human Services, would take down Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) if an election for Senate were held today, according to a new poll from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (Sept. 27-29, 700 A, MoE +/- 3.8%).

Thompson leads Feingold, who's up for re-election to a fourth term next year, by a 43%-39% margin. However, Thompson has not indicated interest in the race, and Feingold's only challenger right now is businessman David Westlake. Feingold has never won with more than 55% of the vote.

Thompson made a brief run for president, officially announcing his candidacy in April 2007 and dropping out after the Ames straw poll four months later. He made headlines this week after urging Congress to pass health care reform this year.

Feingold made headlines this morning after lambasting the White House for not sending a representative to his Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on President Obama's policy czars.