Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson Go Head-to-Head in First Debate

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 29 2012 1:13 PM ET

In the first debate in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race, Rep. Tammy Baldwin took on former governor and Bush administration cabinet member Tommy Thompson, who painted her as extremely liberal and ineffective.

Thompson, referring to his governorship from 1987 to 2001, said, "We cut taxes. We changed welfare, giving people hope and opportunity. We built Wisconsin. … Even [Baldwin's] party doesn't pass her legislation because she's so far out of the mainstream."
 
Baldwin countered by saying she was a "voice for the people, not the powerful." 
 
Following the debate, the Baldwin campaign issued a statement, accusing Thompson of being partial to clients of his lobbying firm, and representing "the politics of the past [which] offered voters the same angry name calling and finger-pointing that has come to define Washington."
 
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the only thing Baldwin and Thompson seemed to agree on was to quickly pull American troops out of Afghanistan to end the war. 
 
Recent polls have Thompson either tied with Baldwin, or trailing her. The New York Times' Nate Silver predicts that Baldwin has a 76% chance of winning the election. 
 
The next debate is scheduled for October 18.