VIDEO REPORT: Tommy vs. Tammy

By: Rachelle Baillon Email
By: Rachelle Baillon Email

UPDATED Wednesday, August 15, 2012--6:15p.m.
MADISON--After a hard-fought primary for U.S. Senate (at least on the Republican side), the candidates are now pivoting towards November.

Republican and Former Gov. Tommy Thompson had to fight-off three other Republicans in the primary--while Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin was unopposed.

A U-W political scientist tells us that now, for Thompson, the task is to get those voters who supported his competitors to now back him. He says the worry for GOPers isn't that those voters are likely to support Baldwin--it's that they won't vote in the November senate race at all.

For Baldwin, he says because she was unopposed within her own party, she can already start appealing to independent voters.

Despite the senate seat's recent history as a Democratic slot, he says this will be a close race. "This is a very evenly divided state right now politically, as we've seen in all the recent elections," said David Canon, a UW Madison Professor of Political Science. "You know statewide have been very close and so while this specific seat has been Democratic for about 50 years, I think this is a state that right now is a 50-50 state and so we're going to see an election that's very closely contested."

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012--3:20p.m.
MADISON--The results of yesterday's Republican primary spawns a Tommy-Tammy match up in the fight for U.S. Senate. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson is the Republican candidate and he'll be taking on Democratic U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin, who was unopposed.

A UW political scientist broke down the candidates' next steps for us:
"Right now it's kind of a two-stage process for Tommy Thompson," said David Canon, a professor of political science at UW Madison. "Because he has to convince the two-thirds of the Republicans that voted against him yesterday to vote for him in the elections. He has to solidify that base and to unify the party, because often a divisive primary like that can really cause some problems for the candidate who ends up winning."

Canon said the worry for GOPers isn't that those voters are likely to support Baldwin--it's that they won't vote in the November senate race at all.

For Baldwin, Canon said because she was unopposed within her own party, she can already start appealing to independent voters.


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