Skip to comments.With cash to spend, Hovde surges in Senate race (WI)
Posted on 07/12/2012 7:10:34 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON Eric Hovdes wealth appears to be paying dividends.
Hovde, a Madison businessman, has surged into second place among the Republican candidates contending for Herb Kohls Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat, according to the latest Marquette Law School poll, released Wednesday.
That follows a report from left-leaning Public Policy Polling on Tuesday that showed Hovde actually leading former Gov. Tommy Thompson 31 percent to 29 percent.
Hovdes assets make him the wealthiest of the candidates, and he has lent his campaign at least $1 million, according to financial statements reported last week by The Associated Press.
Hovde began running campaign ads weeks ago, well before the other candidates.
The fact that hes been able to run a very large, very extended advertising campaign without facing any negative responses from his opponents, has given him a fairly lengthy period of time to establish his image with voters without him being contested, said University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Charles Franklin, a visiting professor at Marquette Law School, who is conducting the polling series.
Well see what happens in this last month in terms of how the other campaigns choose to run their campaigns and what happens as we get into the real heat of battle of this, Franklin said.
Thompson, Hovde, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, of District 1, and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, of Horicon, will compete in the Republican primary Aug. 14.
The winner will face U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-District 2, in November.
(I know) Hovdes been spending a ton of his own money, because Ive been hearing his ads all over the place, Marquette political scientist John McAdams said.
But, McAdams cautioned, Thats easy to ridicule and say, Isnt that terrible that money is so powerful? But ultimately the voters get to decide.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson
The Thompson campaign released a statement from consultant Darrin Schmitz, saying, Tommy Thompson is holding a strong double-digit lead in the Republican primary despite misleading attacks by his opponents, suspect polls peddled by Eric Hovde and the Democrats, and being dramatically outspent by Hovde.
Hovde has had the airwaves virtually to himself, but that is rapidly changing. Thompsons strong 12-point lead over Hovde in the primary explains why the DC-based hedge fund manager is ratcheting up his negative attacks against Thompson.
Hovde spokesman Sean Lansing dismissed criticism of the candidates wealth.
I think its class warfare. Its politics, Lansing said. Thats been a line of attack from Tammy Baldwin and the Democrats ever since Eric got in the race.
Marquette Law School in Milwaukee polled 1,000 registered voters, by landline and cellphone, between Thursday and Sunday.
The poll included 810 likely voters and 432 likely GOP voters, with a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points for questions related to the Republican primary.
According to the poll:
Thompson continues to lead, at 35 percent of likely primary voters. Hovdes support has jumped to 23 percent, up from 14 percent in mid-June. Support for Neumann and Fitzgerald has declined in the past month, with Neumann dropping from 16 percent to 10 percent, and Fitzgerald from 10 percent to 6 percent. Thompson is the only candidate who beats Baldwin in head-to-head matchups, but his lead has shrunk from a month ago and is within the polls margin of error. McAdams said the Republican contest is a two-way race in a manner of speaking.
Here you have Thompson and (whoever will be) the anti-Thompson, he said. And theres sort of a three-way struggle being Hovde, Neumann and Fitzgerald, with Fitzgerald looking to me to be squeezed out.
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In Wisconsin, I’ll take any Republican with a pulse. And that would be, by definition, someone who can beat Tammy Baldwin like a rented car.
Thompson has amazing popularity in that state. I like what I have seen of Hovde, and he has the added benefit of having the potential to cause a lot of strokes in Madison.
I think Wisconsin has relatively high turnout, but I'd be surprised if 81% of registered voters turned out for the primary. I'm guessing Thompson does better among less-committed, less-informed voters, and that's why Marquette is showing a TT lead while PPP has a tie.
I checked out Hovde's website and he looks good from here.
If elected, Thompson will be 71. Just sayin’...and 77 at end of term.
Thompson’s time has passed. Time for someone new.
I don’t care how old Tommy is. He was a big spender and left the state in deep debt. He has toyed with the electorate and undermined the candidacy of everybody else in every election since he left the governorship. I think his time is WAY past.
I don’t know how Tommy could be winning. He is a spending fool. I have met Eric Hovde several times and he is my choice until after the primaries on Aug. 14th.
Hovde first, Fitzgerald second, Neumann third, and Thompson last. Although, I would have to hold my nose and vote for Tommy to keep Tammy Baldwin out of the senate. She is getting huge donations from the lesbian organizations.