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Republicans Attack Feingold By Connecting Him To Clinton

GOP Strategy Mirrors Democratic Efforts To Attack Republicans By Tying Them To Trump

Russ Feingold
AP Photo/Scott Bauer

Wisconsin Republicans are trying to derail Democrat Russ Feingold’s U.S. Senate campaign by tying him to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

It’s a strategy that mirrors efforts by Democrats this year to attack Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson by yoking him to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Feingold has led Johnson in every poll this election cycle as Republicans continue to search for attacks that will stick. This week the Johnson campaign, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the conservative group Americans for Prosperity have hammered home Feingold’s connections to Hillary Clinton.

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“Sen. Feingold’s belief that Hillary is honest will haunt him the rest of the cycle,” read a strategy memo released Thursday by Wisconsin Republican Party Executive Director Mike Duffey, referencing comments from Feingold earlier this week. “His unwavering support for someone as dishonest as Hillary Clinton will ultimately be his downfall.”

The potential reasons Republicans want to connect Feingold and Clinton are obvious: Feingold’s favorability rating remained positive in the latest Marquette University Law School poll while 58 percent of Wisconsin voters held unfavorable views of Clinton.

When asked this week to what degree his race would rise or fall with the outcome of the presidential race in Wisconsin, Feingold downplayed the connection.

“I think people want to have their own decision about their United States senator,” Feingold said.

While Clinton’s approval rating is low in Wisconsin, Donald Trump’s is even lower with 63 percent holding unfavorable views of him in the latest Marquette survey. It’s no coincidence that Democrats have spent this year trying to attack Johnson and other Republicans by tying them to Trump.