Good news from Wisconsin

A new poll of Wisconsin voters by Marquette Law School (when it comes to polling, it seems that everyone’s getting into the act) provides good news for both Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson. The poll has Romney in a virtual tie with President Obama (Obama 49, Romney 48). It also has Thompson virtually deadlocked with his opponent Tammy Baldwin (Thompson 46, Baldwin 45).

The poll demonstrates the significance of the first presidential debate. Before the debate, Obama held an 11 point lead. And he still holds an 8 point lead among those who didn’t see the debate. Unfortunately for the president, 73 percent of those surveyed said they watched the first debate.

The vice presidential debate didn’t help Obama in Wisconsin. Before the debate, 49 percent of those surveyed somehow held a positive view of Joe Biden, while only 41 percent viewed him unfavorably. Afterwards, Talkin’ Joe found himself underwater, 43-47. Apparently, rudeness and histrionics don’t play well in the upper Midwest.

As for native son Paul Ryan, his favorability split improved after the debate from 46-41 to 50-40. The respondents viewed Ryan as the debate winner by a margin of 51-42. Independents saw it that way by a margin of 53-39.

In the Senate race, Thompson has moved from 4 points behind to ahead, albeit by a statistically insignificant margin. I imagine that Romney’s post-debate surge may have helped Thompson. However, the director of the survey points to ads by Thompson attacking Baldwin for her ultra-liberal voting record in Congress. Thompson’s favorability rating, which Baldwin had driven down with attack ads, remains at 37 percent, while Baldwin’s has plummeted from 40 percent to 32 percent.

By the way, the negative attacks that drove Thompson’s rating down argued that the former governor and Secretary of HHS “sold out to special interests and isn’t working for you anymore.” The “sell-out” consisted of work he performed at the law firm where I used to work.

Law firms are not terribly sympathetic places, but I’m surprised that a few years at my old haunt would negate (and then some) four terms as a popular governor and several years as an effective HHS Secretary.

When my day of reckoning comes, what will I have to fall back on to overcome my many years as a lawyer representing corporations? Blogging?