Wis. voters tire of negative ads in Senate race
MADISON Although she normally votes Republican, Lynn Janka stared Wednesday at the names of the two major candidates in Wisconsin's Senate race before turning in her absentee ballot without marking either box.
The primary reason: too much negative campaigning.
"All you heard all are those nasty commercials on both sides," Janka, 48, a Waukesha cook, said after casting her ballot. "I didn't care for that at all."
It's little surprise that voters such as Janka are fed up. The more than $50 million spent on the race between former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin makes it the most expensive Senate election in state history. According to one study, it's almost the most negative Senate campaign in the country.
A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows Baldwin's standing has improved in the wake of one of the most negative ads in the race questioning Baldwin's patriotism for voting against a resolution honoring victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
While Baldwin and Thompson were effectively tied in a poll done two weeks ago before the ads, the latest one shows Baldwin slightly ahead: 47 percent to 43 percent. The poll of 1,243 likely voters was done between Oct. 25 and Sunday and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
Should Baldwin defeat Thompson, it would mark a dramatic and surprising victory for Democrats in a race many saw as Thompson's to lose coming on the heels of big Republican gains since 2010.