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'A fascinating race:' NBC's Chuck Todd and TMJ4's Charles Benson talk about 2022 U.S. Senate race

Democratic primary is one year away.
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Posted at 7:09 PM, Aug 09, 2021

MILWAUKEE — One year from today is primary election day in Wisconsin. Among the biggest races on the Aug. 9, 2022 ballot will be the U.S. Senate seat.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with NBC's Chuck Todd, the moderator of Meet the Press, about the highly contested race and the big unknown with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

"This is such a fascinating race to me, and we still don't even know who's playing in the game," said Todd.

As of now , 10 Democrats are running.

Benson: Take me to where you think the landscape might be for the U.S. Senate Democratic primary?

Todd: Well that's a question I have is, it's interesting, we've seen a sort of progressive versus sort of, I guess, call it the Biden versus Sanders wing of the party go up against each other. Both camps have strong support in Wisconsin.

Joe Biden easily beat Bernie Sanders in the April, 2020 pandemic primary. Sanders trounced Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Wisconsin primary - winning all but one of the state's 72 counties, Milwaukee County.

"I would argue it's Dane County versus Milwaukee County, you could argue that's where they split. The pragmatic wing of the party or the Biden wing of the party, versus Sanders' wing of the party," said Todd. "It's one of those things, I think the better the economy is a year from now, the more contentious the ideological fight inside the party could be."

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Right now, Democrats are running and raising money as if they are going to take on Republican Sen. Ron Johnson - who has yet to say if he's in or out in 2022.

Benson: For sake of argument, if this becomes an open seat. How does that change the dynamics of this race, and the attention it might get at the national level?

Todd: I don't think it changes the attention at the national level, regardless of whether Ron Johnson runs or not. Republicans made the mistake once of writing off Johnson, thinking that he couldn't win that second term. They're not going to do that again.

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