As if the Democrats’ hopes for hanging on to the Senate in 2010 weren’t bad enough, a new Rassmussen poll in Wisconsin suggests that liberal icon Sen. Russell Feingold could lose his seat in the fall. Feingold is most famous for serving co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that tried to limit the influence of money in politics (a law that has now been nearly shredded by the Supreme Court.) His good-government creds have made him a popular figure, at least outside of Wisconsin. But in his home state, he may have some work to do if he wants a fourth term.
Rassmussen’s poll was based on a hypothetical race between Feingold and Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services secretary during the last Bush administration. Republicans are urging Thompson to challenge Feingold, but he hasn’t decided yet. If he does, his odds right now look pretty good. Poll numbers suggest that Thompson would rout Feingold, with 47 percent of the vote, compared with Feingold’s 43 percent. The news is particularly bad for dems because until now, Feingold has never been on anyone’s watch list. His seat was supposed to be a safe one.