APNewsBreak: Thompson says $2M raised in 6 weeks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — After announcing that his campaign for the U.S. Senate was broke following a contentious Republican primary campaign, Tommy Thompson said Wednesday he has raised more than $2 million in the six weeks since and expects to have enough cash on hand to be competitive with Democratic challenger Tammy Baldwin.

Thompson revealed his fundraising totals to The Associated Press following a campaign stop Wednesday. Both he and Baldwin by Monday must report their totals for the three-month period that ran through the end of September.

Polls show they are locked in a tight race for Wisconsin's open Senate seat caused by the retirement of Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl. The Nov. 6 election is less than four weeks away. Both Thompson and Baldwin, as well as outside groups supporting them, have been blanketing the airwaves with millions of dollars in ads.

However, immediately following the Aug. 14 primary Thompson and his allies were outgunned on television 3-to-1 by Baldwin backers, based on analysis by Kantar Media CMAG, a Washington, D.C., firm that tracks political ads.

That helped Baldwin go from being down 9 points in a Marquette University poll done in August to being up by 9 in September. The most recent poll, released last week, showed Baldwin ahead by 4 points.

Baldwin's spokesman John Kraus said she would release her latest fundraising totals on Monday.

Thompson said fundraising since the primary has been "exceptional."

"I feel very good about the resources we have and we will be competitive," he said after speaking at the 105th anniversary celebration at Busch Precision in Milwaukee.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was scheduled to be in Milwaukee on Sunday to host a fundraiser for Thompson. Thompson said he did not know how much money would be raised at that event, but last week Ryan brought in $2.8 million for the presidential race at a similar event also in Milwaukee.

Thompson said Ryan, the congressman from Janesville, told him he was not doing fundraisers for any other candidate.

"I'm the only one," said Thompson, the former four-term governor.

Thompson, 70, served as governor from 1987 until 2001 when he left to become U.S. health secretary under President George W. Bush. He left government in 2005. Ryan, 42, was first elected to Congress representing a southern Wisconsin district in 1998, the last time Thompson was elected governor.

Baldwin, 50, also was elected to Congress representing the Madison area in 1998.

The same polls that show Thompson and Baldwin locked in a tight race have shown President Barack Obama with a double-digit lead in Wisconsin. However, those were conducted before Obama's debate last week with Romney, which Republicans have touted as a positive turning point for them in the race.

Thompson said he wasn't viewing his race in the context of how well Romney does in Wisconsin.

"I don't think you can ever depend on anybody else," he said. "I have to win this race myself. ... I'm hoping I can with enough to help Romney win Wisconsin."

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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