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Saturday, June 04, 2011

 12:25 AM 

Baldwin plans to make decison on Senate run by mid-July

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin said she will decide whether to run for the Senate by mid-July after conducting her own poll to gauge her strength as a statewide candidate.

Baldwin, D-Madison, said she is not worried whether she can win statewide office and said she was encouraged by a recent survey from a Dem firm that showed her running ahead of several possible GOP contenders. Still, she said she wants to see her own poll and said it would help answer questions others may have.

“I’m not worried, but you have the natural questions people ask you if you can win statewide,” Baldwin told WisPolitics.com. “You want to be confident that our Democratic nominee can win, whoever that Democratic nominee is, and I want to show our supporters there’s a clear path to victory.”

Baldwin said she has been speaking with activists and others across the state as she considers a run and said she also spoke earlier this week with former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, who is considering a bid for the seat as well.

Baldwin said she shared with Feingold, who has said he will make a decision on his own bid by Labor Day, what she’s been doing to get ready for a run and said he advised her to get started if she’s serious about running for statewide office.

“Russ Feingold is sophisticated about politics,” Baldwin said. “He understands that Democratic candidates who don’t enjoy statewide name recognition and a statewide base have to get started right away.”

Baldwin said she’s also had conversations with state Reps. Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys and state Sen. Jon Erpenbach about running for her seat next year if she runs for Senate. She also said she’s heard of several others thinking about a run.

Listen to the interview.

-- By JR Ross

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