DECISION 2012: Races in Wisconsin

2 House races in northern Wis. drawing attention

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin's most closely watched congressional races are in the northern half of the state, where voters are deciding whether to re-elect two freshmen Republicans or hand the seats back to Democrats.

Republicans hold five of Wisconsin's eight U.S. House seats. Democrats think two will be vulnerable Tuesday.

The first is northwestern Wisconsin's 7th District, where Rep. Sean Duffy holds a seat previously held for four decades by a Democrat. He's facing Democrat Patrick Kreitlow.

In northeast Wisconsin's 8th District, Rep. Reid Ribble is being challenged by Democrat Jamie Wall for a seat Ribble won from a Democrat.

Also getting attention is Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's 1st District. He's seeking his eighth term while also running for vice president. If he wins both, a special election would fill the congressional seat.
Thompson looks to flip control of US Senate seat

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats are looking to Rep. Tammy Baldwin to hold off a political comeback by former Gov. Tommy Thompson and prevent Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat from falling into Republican hands.

The GOP sees the seat as a key pickup opportunity Tuesday even though it's has been held by a Democrat since 1957.

Thompson served 14 years as governor before leaving in 2001 to join President George W. Bush's administration. He's never lost a statewide election, but he's on the ballot for the first time since 1998.

Baldwin is a seven-term congresswoman from Madison. If she wins, she'd become the first openly gay candidate elected to the Senate.

The race is attracting national attention as Republicans try to win a Senate majority. Overall spending on the race has topped $65 million.
Republicans trying to win back Wisconsin Senate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans are gearing up for the chance to win back the Wisconsin Senate and retake control of state government.

Republicans won the Senate, Assembly and governor's office in 2010. Democrats took control of the Senate during the June recall elections, but their majority was mostly symbolic since the legislative session doesn't begin until January.

Republicans are expected to maintain control of the Assembly in Tuesday's elections. But in the Senate, six Democrats face challengers. If Republicans can unseat one while maintaining their seats, the GOP would win the Senate and again control state government.

Democrats won their slim Senate majority after forcing the governor, lieutenant governor and four GOP senators into recall elections as payback for the law that stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining powers.

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