I thought it might be Eric Hovde that would make it through the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin. What has been happening around the country is that establishment Republicans like Tommy Thompson have been getting knocked off by tea partiers right and left (well, mostly right).
What saved Tommy was that he had three candidates to his right. Without one of them in the race, I think Hovde gets the nod.
Part of that I suppose was wishful thinking. Like a lot of Dems, I felt that Hovde would be an easier opponent (though not an easy one) than the iconic Tommy.
Tammy Baldwin has to be considered a significant underdog at this point, but it's way too early to count her out.
Mark Pocan surprised no one by claiming Tammy's seat (for all intents and purposes) in Congress. He'll face token Republican opposition in the fall, and he'll serve in that seat as long as he wants it. Mark and I are old friends. We were seat mates together on the Dane County Board in the early '90s, and he was my campaign chair every time I ran for mayor. So, I'm very happy for him and for the district.
But Kelda Roys also deserves some credit. She took a chance on a long shot race, and you have to respect that. She also sharpened the decision for voters: did we want a principled fighter for progressive causes or an equally principled fighter who could work with the other side? We got the latter, and I think that's a good thing.
As for Kelda, she's young and bright and will be back.
Finally, there was just the weirdness of voting in August. I heard a lot of election fatigue out there. "Seriously? We're voting again?" was a common refrain I heard around even my politically active neighborhood.
This could be one key to Baldwin's success or failure. If the fatigue continues into November she'll lose. Tammy Baldwin is pretty much our last chance for awhile to reclaim some of our progressive heritage. We'll need to get fired up about that.