Election Preview: Wisconsin U.S. Senate Race

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson is squaring off against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin in a bid to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is taking on Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin for the chance to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate — taking the seat now held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who is retiring in January.

The race has drawn national attention and endorsements because Republicans have a shot to wrestle the seat away from Democrats. Depending on outcomes in other states, the November election could help give the GOP control of the Senate.

  • Related: Tammy vs. Tommy: Costly Senate Race Comes Down to the Wire

Although Thompson was leading Baldwin after his August primary election win, the Madison congresswoman has been in the lead in the most recent polls.

In its analysis of the race, the nonpartisan RealClearPolitics.com says:

"Baldwin received quite a bump in the polls in the wake of the Democratic convention, and it seems to be sticking. What once looked like a probably GOP pickup is looking more and more like a Democratic hold."

U.S. senators serve six-year terms and earn $174,000 per year.

For Patch's complete coverage of the race so far, click here.

Candidate Profiles

  • Democrat Tammy Baldwin
  • Republican Tommy Thompson
Annie Nominous October 06, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Thompson will win easily if Republicans can overcome the vote fraud in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the legitimately passed and signed-into-law Voter Photo ID requirement has been purposely held-up in the court system by Democrats (as in other states). Legitimate voter turn out is key to Thompson winning.
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 05:43 PM
You poor thing. Study after study have been done, even a five year look by the Bush administration with no in person voter fraud found. But hey, let's spend millions on lawsuits and free ID's for an non-existant problem, it's only taxpayer money. Next we can look for the elusive unicorn, yetti and Loch Ness Monster. Geeze, maybe I'm wrong, but I remember every Republican that ran in 2010 ran on jobs, jobs, jobs and instead we get abstinence only sex education, voter ID laws, windmill setting rules and concealed carry (I always carry).
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 06:12 PM
The choice is clear: Baldwin = higher taxes and increased government spending Thompson = lower taxes and decreased government spending ROMNEY/RYAN/THOMPSON 2012!!!
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM
@Steve Ebbie - When did they ever go around and personally visit the addresses listed on voter registration forms to verify if in fact the elector claiming to live there actually does?
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Hi James, As a matter of routine voter registrations are checked. That is how the fraud was found in Floriday recently with the Utah group working for the RNC. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/voter-registration-fraud-gop-backed-firm-spreads/story?id=17370445 Fact is in person voter fraud is non existant. I've personally done hours of research and can not find it. Voter problems are due to felons voting or absentee voting, neither of which is covered by any voter ID law. If you can provide me with other evidence I would appreciate it.
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 06:36 PM
or another choice would be The man that ordered the killing of bin Laden or.. The man that wants to do away with big bird.
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 06:51 PM
@Steve Ebbie - Where in the article that you linked to does it say that the addresses were all personally visited by government officials to verify if the electors whose names are on the registration forms actually live there or not? In fact, this was never done. Just like the 300+ new registration verification post cards that were returned to the City of Racine as undeliverable as addressed - never properly investigated because investigators claim that they don't have the funding to properly carry out the logistics that would be involved in a proper door-to-door investigation. And Racine County Sheriff's Department investigators stated that it was impossible to detect in person voter fraud without Voter ID. http://statehousemedia.com/wisconsin/July_2012/reports%20re%20voter%20fraud%20RCSD.pdf On page 5 of 9, Investigator Rosanne Gordon admits to not being able to properly investigate for voter fraud because "[i]f a person votes under a different name, there is no way to verify that they had done so, with the current Wisconsin Act 23, Voter Photo ID Law on hold." Apparently, your research wasn't very good!
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 07:11 PM
@Steve Ebbie - When did Romney ever state that he wanted to ban Big Bird? Romney merely wants to stop spending federal government money on programs that aren't essential or necessary. In fact, The Children's Television Workshop has admitted that Sesame Street doesn't need government funding, they do just fine on their own: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mitt-romney-big-bird-sesame-street-pbs-debate-376340 "We are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship," Sherrie Westin, executive VP and chief marketing officer of the Workshop, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Thursday. "So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we're going to kill Big Bird – that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here." Even liberal billionaire Warren Buffet seems to agree that Sesame Street will do just fine without continued government subsidies: http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/warren-buffett-news-big-bird-can-make-it-rain-on-his-own-22582/ So knock off the liberal talking point LIES and start telling the truth for a change instead of constantly targeting the low information, non-thinking voter with your nonsensical rhetoric!
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
James, Take it easy, it was a joke. Ever hear of one??? But I do want to thank you for going to the "So knock off the liberal talking point LIES and start telling the truth for a change instead of constantly targeting the low information, non-thinking voter with your nonsensical rhetoric!" Settle down big guy, this is just a blog, you or I will probably not change our opinions based on each others typing, but I have been civil and would ask for the same respect... Thanks, Steve
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Sorry Ebbie, but a lot of people have taken the whole Big Bird thing seriously and have been grossly misrepresenting it in an attempt to score political points with low information, non-thinking voters - just search the web and you'll see what Hoffa is talking about. MSNBC (or MSDNC as it should be called) is one of the worst offenders!
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 08:22 PM
In person voter fraud cases do not exist, Voter ID addresses only in person voter fraud. As far as registrations go, Mickey Mouse has shown up hundreds of times on voter registrations but to date Mickey has yet to cast a ballot. Indiana's photo ID law barred twelve retired nuns in South Bend, Indiana from voting in that state's 2008 Democratic primary election. Pennsylvania admits there has been no voter fraud : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/24/1113252/-Pennsylvania-admits-there-has-been-no-voter-fraud http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/08/cases-voter-id-election-fraud-found-virtually-non-existent It's mother jones, but interesting reading: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/voter-id-laws-charts-maps
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Hoff, I would think that if in person voter fraud was as rampant as some would believe, there would be countless reports of people going to the polls and being told that they already voted. Yes?
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@Ebbie - Of course there haven't been very many cases - because it's nearly impossible to detect without Voter ID!!! Didn't you see the report from investigators that Hoffa provided you? So let Hoffa get this straight, Mother Jones is biased enough that it's worth it to you to preface, but not the Daily Kos?!?! That's comical!!! "I would think that if in person voter fraud was as rampant as some would believe, there would be countless reports of people going to the polls and being told that they already voted. Yes?" No, not when it's easy enough to keep dead people, pets, etc on the voter roles. And there are many eligible electors that just don't vote - Hoffa's sister is one. Don't you find it coveniently suspicious that a Democratic GOTV effort provided neighbors with a flyer indicating the names and address of those in the neighborhood that don't regularly vote right before the Walker recall election? What about the three SEIU officials that were temporarily in Wisconsin during the recalls and used a Milwaukee hotel room to register and vote from in our elections? Voter ID would have prevented that from happening! http://mediatrackers.org/2012/07/16/exclusive-seiu-subpoenaed-in-milwaukee-vote-fraud-investigation/ The integrity of our elections matter. A vast majority of Wisconsinites and the nation have stated time and again that they perceive Voter ID laws to help preserve the integrity of our elections.
James R Hoffa October 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
All it takes is a little fraud in the right place to turn an election!
Steve Ebbie October 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I did reference the Daily Kos where it is reported that the State of Pennsylvania RNC admits there has been no voter fraud and expects none for the upcoming election. Your last response is spot on: All it takes is a little fraud in the right place to turn an election! And mine would be: All it takes is a little disenfranchisement and cleansing of the legitimate voter rolls to turn an election. On a lighter note: I've been scrubbing all day on our Ford Edge (white) to get these smashed bugs off. Next vehicle will be bumble bee yellow/black and blood red! Yellowstone, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah were great, lots of windmill farms in the west.
James R Hoffa October 07, 2012 at 01:17 AM
@Ebbie - Glad you enjoyed the vacation - it really is beautiful out west! The Ford Edge is a great vehicle - Hoffa was actually considering the big brother Lincoln MKX until he settled on his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Sounds like your getting a Camaro... ;-)
Keith Best October 30, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Tammy is the most liberal member of Congress from WI. She is a much more radical extremist than Herb Kohl or Bill Proxmire were. She does not represent the values of most people in Wisconsin. She has more in common with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro than the people of WI.
Lyle Ruble October 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM
@Keith Best....Who pulled your string? The exchange was about voter fraud. Please keep your GOP talking points off the Patch. I and others would welcome some original thoughts from you.
Luke October 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM
GOP internal polling shows Thompson up 4 points. This is a similar disparity to the internal and external polling that took place at the recall election.
GearHead October 30, 2012 at 01:07 PM
@Lyle: getting kinda testy now that even you can see the shellacking part two coming your way, eh?
Lyle Ruble October 30, 2012 at 01:13 PM
@GearHead...I am not particularly concerned about what's coming. Keith Best adds absolutely nothing to the exchange.
Dr. Saul Funkhouser October 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
She isn't going to win the entire state, she will win the Peoples Republic of Madistan and Moochwaukee County, thats it. Wisconsin voted in Johnson, Walker, Prosser and soon to be Romney/Ryan and Thompson.
Michael McClusky October 30, 2012 at 02:56 PM
@Keith Best You're damn right!
GearHead October 30, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Lyle, what Best imparts is factual. Saying that adds nothing to the exchange means you have your head in the sand. Tastes awfully gritty, no? And yes, you are concerned about what is coming. Otherwise you wouldn't continue to write articles injecting predudice and racism everywhere you look, which are irrelevant to the facts on the ground. Is the only tool in your tool box a hammer? The article is about the upcoming Senate election. Thompson will win because of his demonstrated leadership. Baldwin will lose because of her nutty voting record. Nothing more, nothing less. In my view, much of what you contribute is noise, but such is in the eye of the beholder, right?
GearHead October 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Dr. is correct. Madison Socialists and Milwaukee moochers can't overcome the sane voters statewide. A good thing indeed.
CowDung October 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Can't we keep the Democrat talking points off the Patch as well?


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