Big money and stakes in Wisconsin U.S. Senate Race

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 09:59:03-05

The U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin is getting a lot of national attention. 

Democrat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been the number one target in the country by big money or major conservatives. 

Political action committees have already spent millions of dollars on a U.S. Senate seat that won’t be decided until November. 

Money has poured in for TV and digital ads as Republicans try to unseat  Baldwin. 

More than $3 million dollars according to the nonpartisan group that tracks money and politics.
Closer to $5 millions dollars says Baldwin's team. That's more than any other Senate Democrat up in 2018.

Polling expert and Marquette Law School Professor Charles Franklin doesn't see any signs of the spending easing up. 

“She's perceived as a vulnerable candidate because she's a Democrat in a state that voted for Donald Trump,” Franklin said. 

Key word there is perceived. Democrats see it differently. 

“She's a threat to the greedy right wing agenda that's out there,” said Martha Laning, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair. 

Laning says Baldwin is ready to defend her six year senate record of supporting affordable healthcare and her Buy American policy.

“Tammy Baldwin is a legislator out there working for the people of Wisconsin and that's why I believe they will put her back into office,” Lanning siad. 

State Republicans believe Baldwin's record make her vulnerable, quote ..."conservatives are eager to make the case that her (Baldwin) ideals run against those of hard working Wisconsinites."

Two Republicans are vying for Baldwin's job. State Senator Leah Vukmir and political newcomer Kevin Nicholson.

Trump's name will not be on the ballot in 2018 but history says a first term president does have an impact on the election and right now that's not good for Republicans. 

“Midterm elections under a president almost always hurt that president's party in favor of the out party,” Franklin said. 

For the record, outside money from liberal groups have also come in with TV and digital ads to counter the attacks on Baldwin.