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WISPOLITICS.COM REPORT: Close Baldwin-Thompson contest gets national attention

by staff

The U.S. Senate race between Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin is closer and nastier than first predicted, and gaining attention from national groups.

Thompson came out of a tough mid-August Republican primary with a lead.

But negative broadcast ads from the Madison congresswoman and liberal groups chipped away at the lead, and some recent polls even had Baldwin ahead.

The anti-Thompson ads attacked the ex-Bush health secretary for ties to special interests and claimed Thompson — the state’s longest-serving governor — had changed.
Now come more attack ads — aimed at Baldwin.

A national conservative group linked to Karl Rove — Crossroads GPS — is back in the state with nearly $1 million in ads calling Baldwin “extreme.”

The race will be one of a handful to determine control of the U.S. Senate, so expect more heat in three upcoming debates — and on the airwaves.

The former Wisconsin governor will debate the congresswoman first in a debate hosted by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Sept. 28 in Milwaukee.

The second, scheduled for Oct. 18 in Wausau, will be hosted by Wisconsin Public Television, Wisconsin Public Radio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WTMJ-TV, Ch. 4 in Milwaukee.

And the final debate will be held Oct. 26 at Marquette University Law School in cooperation with the “UpFront with Mike Gousha” coalition that includes WISN-TV, Ch. 12 in Milwaukee and

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