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WI-Gov/WI-Sen: Dems in Pretty Good Shape

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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-11-09 08:55 PM
Original message
WI-Gov/WI-Sen: Dems in Pretty Good Shape
Research 2000 for Daily Kos (6/8-10, likely voters, no trendlines):

Jim Doyle (D-inc): 48
Scott Walker (R): 36
Undecided: 16
Jim Doyle (D-inc): 49
Mark Neumann (R): 35
Undecided: 16

Jim Doyle (D-inc): 45
Tommy Thompson (R): 47
Undecided: 8
(MoE: 4%)

Incumbent Gov. Jim Doyle has an unlovely 43-48 approval rating, yet he's still close to the 50% mark against his likeliest opponents, Milwaukee Co. Executive Scott Walker and former WI-01 Rep. Mark Neumann. Half the sample has no opinion of Walker, while a third doesn't know Neumann, but interestingly, they pull identical numbers. (The only other poll of this race, by the Republican firm POS, showed similar nums for Doyle but had both GOPers in the low 40s.)

Meanwhile, former Gov. Tommy Thompson remains pretty popular (54-36), but only holds Doyle to a dead heat. Perhaps Obama's 14-point thumping of John McCain is a signal that Wisconsin's politics have changed - or maybe voters are just tired of Tommy, who was elected to an unprecedented four terms and then, after an ineffectual stint in the Bush cabinet, made a fool of himself with an embarrassing presidential run.

My gut is that the 67-year-old Thompson, who has been toying with a run, won't get in. Thing is, Doyle (who's already served two terms) might bow out as well. So R2K also tested his most likely replacement, Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton:

Barbara Lawton (D): 44
Scott Walker (R): 35
Undecided: 21
Barbara Lawton (D): 43
Mark Neumann (R): 35
Undecided: 22

Barbara Lawton (D): 44
Tommy Thompson (R): 46
Undecided: 10

Lawton, who holds a 35-17 favorability rating, fares quite well. Indeed, her numbers are almost identical to Walker's 33-16 favorables. The fact that she starts off with a natural nine-point advantage does suggest that something fundamental may indeed have changed in Wisconsin. (If so, thanks, Republicans!)

R2K also took a look at the Senate race, where Russ Feingold is up for re-election. While Feingold often makes things a lot more interesting than they have to be (he's never won with more than 55% of the vote), he looks to be in command at this point:

Russ Feingold (D-inc): 53
Paul Ryan (R): 32
Undecided: 15
Russ Feingold (D-inc): 52
Mark Green: 34
Undecided: 14

Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01), something of a GOP rising star, has more or less ruled out a run against Feingold. And former Rep. Mark Green, who lost the 2006 gov race against Doyle, is working for an anti-malaria non-profit in DC, following up on his stint as US ambassador to Tanzania. He says he's not "seeking out" any return to elective office at this time.

And therein lies the real story for Russ Feingold: the Republican cupboard in Wisconsin is pretty bare. Feingold may get very lucky indeed next year. With a solid lead in the polls and no serious opponents in site, the Swing State Project is moving its rating for this race from Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat.
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nevergiveup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-11-09 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for keeping us all up to date
on what is happening politically in these state races. Being a political junkie I love this stuff.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-11-09 09:40 PM
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2. Paul Ryan will probably run for Senator Herb Kohl's seat
in 2012 - he is over 70 and will not run again. That will be a big year- districts will be redrawn after the census, and it is expected that 3 veteran Congressmen - Obey (D), Petri (R), and Sensenbrenner (R) will be retiring.

And it would be lovely to have Doyle swept away by the Obama administration so Barbara Lawton could get a start on being governor. :hi:
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jonestonesusa Donating Member (630 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for the post.
I think Feingold is very safe in an era where Democrats are holding solid nationally. Barbara Lawton also has a strong base among Democrats, though a strong Republican opponent might be able to challenge her. I hope not, though - I think she would be a great governor!
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