After a long wait for the results, Democrat Tammy Baldwin won the Wisconsin Senatorial race with 52 percent of the vote, beating out Republican Tommy Thompson by 7 percentage points.
Wisconsin was the center of a fierce fight for the the Senate seat between Baldwin and Thompson. Both were trying to replace long time Senator Herb Kohl, who is retiring, in a seat that has been held by the Democrats since 1957. The seat was highly disputed, as the winner will influence who will control the Senate.
This seat was supposed to be an easy pick for the Republicans, since Republican Governor Scott Walker won a recall election a few months ago. Additionally, Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan calls the state home. After being behind in the polls for months, Democrat Tammy Baldwin came back strong and led in the last polls before Election Day by 3 points.
For the most part, the two candidates remained steadfast to party lines. Tammy Baldwin has been a strong backer of President Obama’s policies, while Tommy Thompson has been vocal against the Democrat administration, especially on Obamacare. Both, however, advocated themselves as the champion of the middle class in order to win the votes of independent, middle class voters.
$37.2 million was spent by outside groups, making it the second most expensive senate race after Virginia. This led to negative campaign tacticts that have turned off some voters. Neither candidate is, indeed, particularly liked, as Thompson only enjoys a 44/48 favorability rating and Baldwin has a 44/50.
Tammy Baldwin, 50, has been representing Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District in the House of Representative since she was elected in 1999. She was the first women from Wisconsin was elected in Congress, as well as one of the only openly gay US Representatives. Previously to her election, she was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 1999, and served four terms as a Dane County Supervisor. She was also a practicing attorney from 1989 to 1992.
Tommy Thompson,71, is the longest serving governor in Wisconsin, having held the office for 14 years from 1987-2001. Before becoming governor, Mr. Thompson served in Wisconsin State Assembly from 1967 to 1987. Under the Bush administration he was the Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005. In 2007 he considered running for President of the United States but renounced the decision after poor results in early polls.