At least according toRasmussenFor those of you who are too lazy to click the link, he's up 47-43 on Feingold. I know that the good folks over there have been fairly generous to our side this cycle, mostly because of the likely voter models they have in place. They've been spot on so far, but the electorate can always change between now and election day.
For what it's worth, I'm not really a Tommy Thompson fan. He's a squish on a number of issues, but he did do a good job as governor of the Dairy State years ago and instituted a model for welfare reform that was copied by the GOP Congress and President Clinton in the mid 90s. Thompson has also been a big time advocate for school choice and instituted a pretty decent program in Milwaukee to help low income families send their kids to whatever school, public or private, that they felt is best. That would be a nice direct contrast to Obama's tearing apart of a similar program in DC.
So yes, Thompson is not a rock-ribbed conservative and no, Wisconsin is not Massachusetts where we really do need to settle for candidates on the center-right. But even in this cycle I don't think Feingold is vulnerable unless we bring in a big name. Even if Rasmussen is off by a few points, the bottom line is that Thompson starts out on even footing with Feingold and has history in the state. I doubt very much being HHS Secretary under Bush will drag him down. What say you RedStaters... draft Thompson?!