Two separate half-million dollar attack ad campaigns targeting Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the Wisconsin Senate race may have produced zip for the special interest groups that launched them. New polling numbers suggest the presumptive Democratic nominee’s standing in the race has actually improved over the last few weeks. Baldwin is now tied with two GOP challengers and leads two others, according to the firm Public Policy Polling.
For months, television ads backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a corporate lobbying group in Washington, and another group affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, slammed Baldwin’s progressive record, but with little apparent effect. Baldwin has now pulled even with former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican who has been leading the race for the GOP nomination. In a head-to-head matchup, Baldwin and Thompson are tied at 45% each, according to PPP. An earlier poll from Marquette University showed Baldwin trailing Thompson by 7 points.
“If anything, the latest polls show this is an absolutely wide-open race,” said Tiffany Muller, vice president for political operations at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. ”Even with much lower name recognition than the former governor, Congresswoman Baldwin is neck-and-neck with him in the polls, and she leads a few other challengers. That means Wisconsin voters are receptive to her message about fighting for the middle class rather than special interests in D.C. They want someone who’s on their side.”
Baldwin, the only out lesbian ever elected to Congress, could become the first-ever openly LGBT U.S. senator.