No matter who Wisconsin's Republican voters pick on Tuesday to fight Rep. Tammy Baldwin for a U.S. Senate seat, polls show the race will be tight.
Baldwin, who is a lesbian and the Democrats' uncontested pick for the race, will likely face either former governor Tommy Thompson, hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, or former Congressman Mark Neumann. State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald is much further behind those three -- who are virtually tied in their support, according to a survey Thursday from Public Policy Polling.
"It's an incredibly closely contested three way contest that really could go any way on Tuesday night," wrote PPP's Tom Jensen in announcing the results.
Meanwhile, the congresswoman is for the first time showing a slight edge in polls against Thompson, a well known name in the state and former presidential candidate who had been an early favorite to win the GOP primary. Conservative pollster Rasmussen Reports had Thompson up by as much as 14 points in February. But its newest poll in late July has Baldwin up by 7 points.
The most recent PPP poll shows the race as a tie, as does a Quinnipiac poll conducted in partnership with the New York Times and CBS News. That poll shows Baldwin leading Hovde by 4 points and Neumann by 3 -- both who are considered more conservative than Thompson.