Skip to comments.Latest poll shows Thompson in a dead heat, three-man race. (WI)
Posted on 08/02/2012 10:53:14 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON It wasnt too long ago that Tommy Thompsons rival campaigns confessed that Wisconsins GOP U.S. Senate nomination was Tommys race to lose.
Looks like Thompson is obliging, if the latest polls are any indication.
Of course, Wisconsins former four-term governor and Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, has had some help from his attacking Senate race competitors who have hit him, and each other, on all sides since the gloves came off last month.
The latest poll from liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling shows multimillionaire and political newcomer Eric Hovde leading the four-man field of Republicans, with 28 percent, followed by Thompson and a surging Mark Neumann, a former 1st District congressman, tied at 25 percent.
The candidates are running in a statistical dead heat, well within the 4.9 percent margin of error, according to PPPs poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters conducted earlier this week.
State Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, who as Assembly Speaker last session helped guide Gov. Scott Walkers conservative agenda to passage, lagged well behind at 13 percent.
After several weeks of nasty attack ads, all around mud-slinging and feisty debates, Thompson has seen his comfortable lead plummet in the most recent polls, while Neumann rises and Hovde seems to just hang on to the numerical top spot.
A race that once seemed Thompsons for the taking has suddenly, seemingly, turned into a tight, three-man race to a primary less than two weeks away on Aug. 14.
Tommy Thompsons position is looking more and more perilous as his establishment Republican brethren lose one primary after another, Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement This has become an exciting three way contest and its impossible to say what will happen in the last two weeks.
Thompson, who has consistently tracked ahead of all comers, including the Democrats U.S. Senate candidate, 2nd District U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, polled as high as 39 percent in PPPs February poll.
Its a concern about whether Thompson is sufficiently conservative that is driving a lot of his problems, PPP stated in a poll release, noting 58 percent of primary voters surveyed now say they want someone more conservative than Thompson to be the nominee, compared to 29 percent who are content with him.
PPP said Thompson is posting extremely weak numbers with voters identifying as very conservative, getting 21 percent while Hovde and Neumann are each polling at 28 percent among the respondents.
Thompson campaign spokesman Brian Nemoir said the election will come down to trust.
In the end, this election is going to be about who you can trust (to) get things done in Washington D.C., and theres not another candidate in this race with Tommy Thompsons record of tax cuts, property tax relief and job growth, Nemoir said in an email to Wisconsin Reporter.
Wednesdays poll follows a survey a day earlier from national poll site We Ask America that found Hovde and Thompson tied at 23 percent, with Neumann moving up to 17 percent. Fitzgerald polled at 12 percent, according to the poll that claims to have asked 1,237 likely GOP voters in the Badger State who they would vote for. The poll has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
PPP noted the momentum is on Neumanns side.
The Janesville businessman who, like Thompson, has earned endorsements from some conservative national heavyweights, has gained 10 percentage points during the past month, rising from 15 percent to 25 percent in the PPP poll.
His strength is coming from the most conservative wing of the GOP electorate, PPP said.
Neumanns campaign, which has pounded Hovde and Thompson in campaign ads, pounced on the PPP poll.
This poll confirms what weve hearing all over Wisconsin, said Neumann campaign manager Chip Englander in a statement.
Hovde seems to have stalled.
The hedge-fund manager and real estate developer from Madison has dumped in nearly $4 million of his fortune in an unrivaled TV campaign ad blitz that boosted his name recognition and his conservative credentials.
His political outsider campaign and surge in the polls also attracted heat from his closest competitors, with the Thompson and Neumann camps and their surrogates hitting Hovde hard on conservative issues.
Hovde remains the unexpected leader in this contest but his momentum has stalled a good bit over the last month, PPP said in its release. Hovdes polling numbers and his favorability rating have fallen in recent weeks.
The race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, has attracted national attention and big money. Its a seat seen very much in play, a closely watched contest that pundits say could influence control of the U.S. Senate and the national agenda.
As of the end of June, Thompson had taken in $1.97 million in individual contributions, and another $149,000 in political action committee cash, according to campaign finance filings with the Federal Election Commission. Neumann had raised $2.15 million in individual campaign funds, and $53,094 in PAC money.
Hovde, meanwhile, posted $4.35 million in campaign receipts, with a small portion of that $346,363 coming from individual contributions.
Fitzgerald, as in the polls, lags behind in contributions, having raised $119,205 in individual contributions and $25,250 in PAC cash through June.
Baldwin is crushing the Republicans in campaign cash, taking in $5.8 million in individual contributions, and $571,788 in PAC money, according to the FEC.
The liberal congresswoman, without a challenger for her partys nomination, has begun airing campaign ads. Recent polls have shown her outpacing all Republicans, a turnaround from a previous polling that showed Thompson the definitive winner in a head-to-head match with Baldwin.
Joe Heim isnt sold on the latest polling.
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political science professor said he still believes its Thompsons race to lose.
He said Neumanns surging could prove to split the core conservative vote among Neumann, Hovde and Fitzgerald, leaving Thompson, seen more widely as a moderate Republican, escaping with the win.
And while the Government Accountability Board predicts voter turnout at 20 percent, Heim said an Aug. 14 primary will be lucky to attract 15 percent of the electorate. A lot of those voters will be seniors seniors who know the 70-year-old Thompson well.
Thompson has the age distinction, Heim said. The older the voter the more likely they will know him and remember him strongly.
Still, the No. 1 candidate, according to the We Ask America poll: Undecided at 25 percent.
Wisconsin US Senate poll
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Tommy Thompson is a fat tubby fascist
Thompson took on the unions and did a hell of a lot of good things in WI, really surprised folks are viewing him as not conservative enough.
Without Thompson WI would have long ago turned into Michigan.
I’m not much in favor of millionaires buying their Senate seat in general. That happens here in Illinois with Republicans and a lot in NJ and Connecticut. And, of course, Kohl himself.
This does not mean that Hovde would not be the best nominee. I just don’t know anything about any of these men other than Thompson whom I would call moderate-Right in ideological terms. Preferable to Herbie no doubt.
Has Palin made a pick yet? Is there a real constitutional conservative in this race for the base to send money to?
What a pantload!
Here, you want to demean one of the conservative candidates, how about going after Neumann - he’s got a long history of attacking conservative candidates too.
Tommy may be more moderate but he doesn’t frag his own guys.
Thompson left the state in deep debt and has done everything possible in his power to mess up the chances of every politician to follow him. He refused to help his Lt. Governor — wouldn’t even move out of the Governor’s mansion after he left for DC. Then, when it was time for McCallu to run for office, Thompson dithered around and refused to endorse him. Then, he was part of the cabal that truncated Scott Walker’s first race for the Governorship. That gave us 8 years of Doyle. Then, he refused every overture of the GOP for him to run for US Senate. So, we got more Kohl, Feingold, etc. Until suddenly Ron Johnson broke the impasse and actually got elected. Until now, it has looked like all he wanted to do was to have his name in the mix so that he could collect campaign cash for ???
Furthermore, he backed the ethanol mandate, Cap and Trade, and Obamacare at one time, or another. I’ve heard him in in one forum (he was mean and mad — not a pretty picture). He did not show up at other venues, although he has begun showing up recently. I definitely think that he is not conservative enough.
All the Repubs were well ahead of Tammy Baldwin last month, and now she’s pulled ahead in the latest Ras poll. Aug. 14’s primary can’t get here fast enough, so the internecine BS can come to an end. This was a very winnable seat.
Concentrate on the ENEMY, GOP!!!
See #8. Except for leaving the state in deep debt, I could say the same about Neummann, especially the way he treated Walker. And, it’s been the same story with the GOP BEGGING him to run for Senate before Johnson surfaced 2 years ago. He always refused saying that he didn’t want to live in DC.
As far as I’m concerned this is like the girl who turns down every date with her suiter and then is surprised when he doesn’t ask her to the prom.
“Has Palin made a pick yet?” My question as well. But with all the effort the Tea Party put into the recent recall elections, I haven’t seen anything on the Tea Party endorsements.
Again about 11 days away from the primary vote. Any info out there?
SCF backs Neumann. Good enough for me.
A “fascist”, eh? Is he a proto-Mussolini? After all Benito was the model for “fat, tubby fascist”. Or perhaps S.A. or S.S., Iron Guard, Falange, a Huey Long, just what variety are we talking about?
This household already has cast its 2 votes — for Hovde.
Who, or what, is SCF?
Fitzgerald guy myself, but will line up for whoever comes out ahead.
Neumann is the only one I’ll have to plug my nose for...he ran a despicable campaign against Walker.
All four are better than Tammy and that’s really all that will matter on Election Day.
Ok, I see from Neuman’s website http://neumann2012.com/ that Neuman has the following endorsements:
Sen. Jim DeMint
Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Pat Toomey
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Tom Coburn
Club for Growth
That’s not too shabby WI. Neuman might get put over the top if Palin endorsed him.
C’mon Tommy, get off the public payroll already!
I was kinda busy in my home state with Cruz and unable to see who the TEA party folks up there have endorsed. It would be a shame to see a RINO get in under the rine-ar (radar) because we lost energy after the recall.
I spoke with a local TEA party guy who was politicing outside my polling place Tuesday and he was quite winded. Taking back and righting this nation is a marathon not a sprint. God bless the grassroots wariors doing battle out there in the political trenches.
De Mint, Toomey, Paul you are correct, heavy hitters, and you are also right about a Palin endorsement putting this candidate over the top. Does anyone know where the grand lady of “Kingmaking” stands on this race ?
The only name that matters is:
Neuman has outside endorsements, but us here remember very clearly the campaign he ran against Walker in the primary. He may be popular outside of the State but I can guarantee he won’t win a popularity contest of Republican candidates.
“Negative Neuman” likely knows this because he’s gone from attack ads to syrupy family man ads to try and close the gap.
Sen. Jim DeMint
Sen. Rand Paul Sen. Pat Toomey
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Tom Coburn
Club for Growth
Thats not too shabby WI. Neuman might get put over the top if Palin endorsed him.
You do realize that after trailing badly against Walker in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary and getting somewhat shunned at the 2010 Wisconsin GOP convention, Neumann threatened to quit the GOP primary and run as a 3rd party INDEPENDENT centrist candidtate to the LEFT of Walker.
Neumann is NOT a conservative, just an opportunistic egomaniac.
There is NO WAY Palin will endorse Negative Neumann. And I'm not sure I would want some of the other endorsements you listed - Coburn is inconsistently conservative, Toomey is more of a moderate and Paul is a libertarian nutcase.
I'm really disappointed with the rest of the endorsers listed. A number of former Neumann staffers are presently employed at Club for Growth so I understand that endorsement, but DeMint & Lee should know better.
Ok, I am open to correction. Tell me then who would/should Sarah Palin endorse?
I want to puke everytime I hear the Neumann radio commercial where he alleges his 3 year-old grandson Charlie endorses Neumann's Senate campaign so that Washington stops spending Charlie's money.
I also have an issue with the Neumann ad where claims family/religious values and says the reason he went to church sunday school as a kid was to be near his future wife. In addition to to being sappy, I'm not sure it demonstrates a family/religious value - just a creepy, obsessive childhood crush.
Who uses “little rascal” anymore...
I mean other than that pederast Harry Reid (from what I heard from someone) of course.
I think Palin will stay out of the race - at least until after the primary.
Mama Grizzly likes picking winners. If he were running a little bit closer, I could see her endorsing Fitzgerald - he's a small town, conservative guy. While Fitz is perhaps the most authentically across-the-board conservative candidate, he has no chance of winning the primary.
Hovde is the least GOP-e insider of the four candidates. And while that Hovde attribute might appeal to Palin, the fact that Hovde is highly self-funded will keep her away from an endorsement - at least until after the primary.
I strongly believe Sarah Palin will simply not offer an endorsement to Tommy or Neumann - even if either man wins the August 14 primary.
Uh, the He-Man Woman Haters Club?
There really isn't a RINO in the race. And there really isn't a TEA party candidate in the race, either.
Tommy is the more moderate of the 4 candidates, but they all have mostly conservative tendencies.
There are 3 GOP-e insider candidates (Tommy, Fitz & Neumann) and the "outsider" in the race (Hovde) is a self-funding millionaire.
Fitzgerald is the current Assembly Speaker, but is from a mostly rural district and has a tiny base to build upon for a statewide race.
Neumann crapped his nest by running a dishonorable gubernatorial primary race against Walker and is repeating his negative campaign tricks in this race.
Tommy & Neumann have also spurned previous GOP recruitment efforts to run against the US Senate incumbent in 2000, 2004, 2006 & 2010. In each of those years, Tommy allowed his name to be floated and intimidated many quality candidates from stepping forward.
Neumann has also previously lost US House races in 1992 & 1993, a US Senate race in 1998 and the gubernatorial primary in 2010.
I like Fitzgerald, but will vote for Hovde.
Tommy T is yesterdays news, too old and stuck in the 90s. Wisconsin needs a US senator who will be conservative, work hard for our state and who won’t be a one termer due to age as will Thompson.
I like Fitzgerald as a conservative, but he hasn’t raised enough money to reliably beat Baldwin. Also, Baldwin will energize her lefty base by pointing out Fitzgerald was a big supporter of Act 10.
Hovde has the money and is conservative enough for me. He can beat Baldwin. He was with Walker on Act 10, but wasn’t in the legislature voting on it as was Fitzgerald.
Baldwin will win this for the Dems in Nov.