The Marquette Law School poll, which has been tracking the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin, found last week that GOP candidate Tommy Thompson overtook his opponent, Democrat Rep. Tammy Baldwin, by 1 percentage point among registered Wisconsin voters. The race now stands at 46% to 45%. The previous polling had Baldwin ahead 48% to 44%.
The new polling numbers came out just before the two candidates debated for the second time on television. Baldwin followed up with an endorsement from Bill Clinton on Friday, as reported by the Journal-Sentinel. Earlier in the week, Thompson announced endorsements by Condoleezza Rice, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The debate garnered strong ratings in Wisconsin, reports the Journal-Sentinel:
It's a sign of how politically engaged - and polarized - Wisconsin is that televised political debates do so well here.
And while Thursday night's Senate debate between Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) did not do presidential-debate numbers, it did beat network programming on two of the three other network affiliates.
If there's a definition of volatile, it's this race. Both candidates have seen leads in polls disappear, and attacks during the campaign have been plentiful. Baldwin was recently fundraising off a gaffe by Thompson's son, who "was caught on camera during a ... brunch hosted by the Kenosha County Republican Party" talking about the president and Kenya, reports the New York Daily News:
"We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago — or Kenya," said Jason Thompson, an attorney at a large Milwaukee law firm. The comment drew laughs from the crowd, with one woman joking, "We are taking donations for that Kenya trip."
Thompson's campaign said his son apologized for this, according to the article.