U.S. Senate GOP primary just two months away


Now that the bruising recall campaign is over, there’s another election right around the corner. The four Republicans running for U.S. Senate have just two months to make their cases to voters before primary day.

Normally there’d be a lot more attention focused on a crowded primary race for an open U.S. Senate seat. But Marquette University’s Charles Franklin says that in this case, the Senate candidates have been totally overshadowed by the recall, “All of them have failed to have the prominence that they would normally have in a Senate campaign.”

And they have even less time to do that this year, with the fall primary moving to August instead of the usual September.

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In Franklin’s last Marquette poll—which accurately gauged Gov. Walker’s margin of victory in the recall—respondents were also asked their opinions of the Senate candidates. 84 percent knew enough about former Gov. Tommy Thompson to hold an opinion. Nobody else was above 50, with 49 percent for former Congressman Mark Neumann, 45 percent for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and 28 percent for hedge fund manager Eric Hovde. Franklin says it shows the challenges those candidates face, “I think the broad question is what direction is the current, contemporary Republican Party in this state taking and where does Tommy Thompson fit in with that.”

53 percent of those polled knew enough to have an opinion about Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin—the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. She’ll have about three months to campaign against whomever emerges from the primary before the November election.