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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

 11:47 AM 

Rothenberg says Feingold remains safe

Stuart Rothenberg has Wisconsin's Senate race among his safe seats for incumbents, and he believes Terrence Wall has a long way to go before he can be considered a serious challenger to Russ Feingold.

Rothberg's latest rankings list four seats that lean takeover, all of which are now held by Dems, and eight seats that are toss ups, four held by Dems, four by Republicans.

Following yesterday's news that Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is opting against a re-election bid, Rothenberg also took a look at the prospect of Republicans winning back control of the Senate, which Dems how hold 59-41.

He believes Republicans have the opportunity now to net eight seats, not enough to win control, but still "a huge number, especially considering that Democrats have 18 seats up this fall." Rothenberg believes Republicans have the advantage in four Dem-held seats -- North Dakota, Delaware, Arkansas and Nevada -- and are "no worse than even money" in four others -- Indiana, Illinois, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

Any chance of winning the 10 seats needed for GOP control would mean winning all those seats, holding the open GOP seats and picking off at least two of the following Senate races: Connecticut, California, Wisconsin and Washington.

Here's what Rothenberg writes about Wisconsin:

"In Wisconsin, some polling has shown Sen. Russ Feingold (D) having trouble in a race against former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R). The only problem is that Thompson isn't now running for the Senate, though he is considering it. And Feingold, who voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is a savvy politician who has developed a reputation for independence.

"The main Republican contender currently is Terrence Wall, a prosperous real estate developer who put $300,000 into his campaign but hasn't paid state taxes in nine of the past 10 years. Democrats apparently have other tax ammunition to use against Wall.

"When I interviewed Wall recently, he refused to give his date of birth. He only offered the year of his birth (and his age), apparently because he is concerned about identity theft. Wall, in other words, has a long way to go before he is a serious threat to Feingold, even in a bad year for Democrats."


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