MADISON, WI (WSAU) With 33 days until the Republican primary, Wisconsinites are just starting to pay attention to the U-S Senate race. And veteran G-O-P consultant Mark Graul says you’ll see a lot of swings in the polls.
So far, Eric Hovde is the only one of the four Republican candidates to advertise heavily on T-V. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he’s spent around four-million dollars to get himself known. Two polls this week show Hovde in second place behind Tommy Thompson.
The former governor leads 35-to-23 percent in the latest Marquette Law School poll – and Hovde raised his support by nine-percent from the last poll in mid-June. The firm of Public Policy Polling says Hovde is even closer to Thompson – just two points behind.
Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says Hovde has enjoyed a long period to establish himself without being challenged but quote, “We’ll see what happens as we get into the real heat of battle.” Former Congressman Mark Neumann, a distant third, says the polls are already out of date because he’s about to start his ad campaign.
Thompson spokesman Brian Nemoir says voters will want to know more about Hovde, whom Nemoir called “a guy who just moved back here who ran a hedge fund.” Sean Lansing of Hovde’s camp says the polls show that voters are looking for a fresh face with new ideas, as opposed to Thompson’s quote, “lifetime in politics and government.”
Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald is running a distant fourth, and says Hovde’s money has been the big story so far. The Marquette poll shows only Thompson leading Democratic nominee Tammy Baldwin in head-to-head polling for November.