Tommy is correct that the unlimited fundraising Gov. Walker was allowed in the recall hit Republicans in this senate contest, hard. On the other hand, Tommy is the probably the only one getting any considerable money from Republican loyalists. In fact, what's interesting is conventional wisdom was Thompson was the best suited to weather the impact the recall would have on this race.
He was best known in the state and best connected in political circles. Tommy Thompson is near legendary in Wisconsin politics. If he couldn't withstand the arid political conditions created for Republicans after the recall who could? I still believe Tommy waited too long to realize things were going according to plan. Eric Hovde entering this race turned it on its head, as I predicted it would. Tommy never seemed to adjust, felt he could remain aloof and ride out the storm. I said at the time it was a long way to August.
That said, Tommy is every bit as much in this race as any of the candidates. But it's pretty clear that as the primary approaches this race is getting much fuzzier, not clearer, in terms of who might win. I believe it's wide open, and yes that includes Jeff Fitzgerald, although I still think he's a longshot.