Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Wisconsin: EMILY’s List Takes On Senate Frontrunners

Women Vote!, the independent expenditure arm of EMILY’s List, released its first television ad in Wisconsin this cycle in support of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) with a $400,000 broadcast television buy.

The ad, which will air in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau, targets GOP Senate candidates businessman Eric Hovde and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“D.C. insiders like Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde are not going to stick up for me,”  the ad’s first subject says.

The ad continues by portraying the GOP candidates as out of touch with Wisconsin before praising Baldwin as someone who “won’t give the state away to special interests.”

The choice to take on both Thompson and Hovde underscores the changing dynamic in the GOP primary. The two candidates are quickly emerging as the race’s frontrunners.

Thompson entered the race with widespread name recognition and was immediately considered the frontrunner. Hovde, who has never served in elected office, has spent millions of dollars of his own money to introduce himself to voters.

A Public Policy Polling survey released today showed Hovde leading Thompson in the race by a slim 2 points, and an internal Hovde poll from last week showed the businessman trailing the former governor by 5 points.

The PPP poll, which surveyed 564 GOP primary voters this month, showed Baldwin in a tight race with both Thompson and Hovde. She would tie the former governor 45 percent to 45 percent and lose by 1 point to Hovde if the race were held today, according to PPP.

Baldwin and GOP primary candidate former Rep. Mark Neumann are also out with their own new ads this week. Baldwin’s biographical ad, titled “Rock,” focuses on her experience being raised by her grandparents and their experience with Medicare. The ad is part of a $127,000 broadcast and cable buy, according to a GOP operative who monitors ad spending.

“When Nana became frail, it was my honor to help take care of her,” Baldwin says in the ad. “So when people in Washington talk about slashing Medicare benefits, instead of asking millionaires to pay their fair share, I know it’s wrong.”

Neumann’s ad will be released later this morning.

Roll Call rates the general election as a Tossup.

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