Tammy Baldwin now leads Tommy Thompson in the U.S. Senate Race 50 to 41. That is an exact flip from the lead Thompson had a month ago, an 18 point swing. Conservatives immediately questioned the polls validity. Yes, polls are always suspect to one degree or another. But Franklin's point about the advertising disparity is important. Baldwin has been hitting the airwaves and Thompson hasn't. And those ads appear to be convincing moderates and independents.
Even if you doubt the margin, I firmly believe Baldwin has the momentum in this race right now. Obviously there is time for Thompson to close the gap, especially if you believe this poll. After all, Baldwin closed and flipped the same gap in a month. But Thompson's campaign needs to exude passion. You always knew Tommy loved being governor of Wisconsin. And Tommy twice now having to correct himself when he said he was a "moderate conservative" to "conservative" doesn't help.
And I don't believe the answer here is to go aggressive on Baldwin. The truth is always problematic for a male candidate to go on the attack on a female candidate. Tommy needs to be the cheerleader and passionate campaigner he was for a decade and a half. This might come off harsher than it means to, but the campaign seems to lack direction right now. We're past the name recognition advantage at this point. Tommy needs to sell himself to the voters of Wisconsin, much like he did in 1986.
Is it time to panic? No. Is it time to accept that Tommy won't win if his campaign stays on its current trajectory? Yes.