Wisconsin: More Negative Ads Out to Shape Senate Race

Rep. Tammy Baldwin and former Gov. Tommy Thompson are continuing to pursue an advertising strategy, implemented last week, that seeks to spook Wisconsonites. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Welcome to the kitchen sink, Wisconsin.

"Nuclear Iran." ... "Uranium." ... "Big oil." ... "Body armor."

Feeling scared? Because it seems the Senate campaigns of former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) hope so, at least if you're a Wisconsin voter.

With about a week left before Election Day, Baldwin and Thompson are continuing to pursue an advertising strategy, implemented last week, that seeks to spook Wisconsonites with negative spots that deal with 9/11 and the Iranian nuclear threat and bolster the existing themes of the election. Baldwin's campaign has been running on "Tommy: He's just not for you anymore," and Thompson's campaign has been running on Baldwin being "too extreme for Wisconsin."

Today, Thompson's camp unveiled another brutal ad, this one called "Body Armor," which accused Baldwin of fighting to "block funding that provides body armor for our troops just to make a political point."


The truth, however, behind that statement is murky at best. Though Baldwin has been anti-war throughout her 14-year House tenure — she opposed the Iraq war — she has a mixed voting record when it comes to defense issues. Baldwin has sometimes voted in favor of the annual defense authorization and appropriations bills and often voted for emergency supplementals that funded military action, according to an aggregation of her votes by Project Vote Smart.

Meanwhile, Democrats are hitting back at Thompson, with Baldwin's campaign going up statewide with an ad called "Needs It," featuring a piece of uranium rock and questioning Thompson's investments in companies that have done business with Iran.


And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is running a radio ad challenging Thompson's original 9/11-based ad that debuted last week, which used Baldwin's vote against a 2006 resolution to paint her as unsympathetic of the victims of the terrorist attacks.

As Roll Call reported last week, it's unclear how inundated Wisconsin voters will receive the ads, but so far, the approach has been working to a point. Both candidates have higher unfavorable ratings than favorable.

Roll Call lists this race as a Tossup.