A new poll out today from Public Policy Polling finds U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin the “early favorite” among Democrats who are most likely to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin. (The poll did not include former Sen. Russ Feingold, who many say is unlikely to launch a bid to return to Washington.)
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, has said Wisconsin’s 2012 Senate race would be the group’s top priority if Baldwin decides to run. If she is nominated and beats the eventual Republican nominee, Baldwin would become the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.
If Feingold sits it out Tammy Baldwin is looking like the early favorite. In a three way race with Ron Kind and Steve Kagen she leads with 37% to 21% for Kind and 15% for Kagen. And in just a two way race with Kagen she leads 48-19.
Certainly Baldwin is at her strongest in the three way race with voters describing themselves as ‘very liberal,’ with whom she leads Kagen by 42 points and Kind by 47. But she’s also up 19 on Kind and 31 on Kagen with voters identifying just as ’somewhat liberal’ and even with moderates she basically runs even with Kind, getting 23% to his 24% with Kagen back at 16%. In the head to head with Kagen, Baldwin is up double digits with every ideology group. If she runs and Feingold doesn’t, she’s going to be pretty difficult to beat in a primary.