By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Candidates for governor and U.S. Senate were blanketing Wisconsin on Thursday, bringing surrogates such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House counselor Kellyanne Conway in tow as they made their final campaign pushes before the general election next week.
A recent poll showed the governor’s race between Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger, state superintendent Tony Evers, is tied. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has maintained a double-digit lead over her Republican rival, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, in several recent polls.
Vukmir was campaigning with Ryan and Walker on a bus tour from Waukesha to Green Bay. Vukmir had a separate stop with Conway in Appleton. She also won the endorsements of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday, who said “as the daughter of immigrants, Leah understands the challenges working-class families across the state face and I know she will be the strong advocate these families deserve.”
Vukmir supports President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, including his call for the construction of a border wall.
Baldwin, in contrast, favors making what she deems reforms to the U.S. immigration system. This week, she came out strongly against the Trump’s call for eliminating the policy of birthright citizenship.
Evers is on his own tour — in a yellow school bus — through western and northern Wisconsin, starting in Tomah and ending in Ashland. Baldwin was campaigning in Marshfield and Mauston before ending up in Madison, where she planned to cast her ballot. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts — a likely 2020 presidential candidate — was coming to Madison and Milwaukee to speak at “Women for Tammy” rallies for Baldwin.
Two other likely Democratic presidential candidates, California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, have also made appearances in Wisconsin in support of Baldwin in recent days.
Evers released a new campaign ad Thursday calling attention to the criticism that has been lobbed at Walker by four of his former Cabinet secretaries. Three of them signed a letter urging people to vote for Evers, and a fourth — former Wisconsin Department of Transportation Mark Gottlieb — has said Walker has not been truthful about his roads budgets.
Walker, who is seeking a third term, has dismissed the criticism, saying it shows he’s willing to surround himself with people who have differing viewpoints. Evers’ ad is the 14th of his campaign. Walker, for his part, has run a staggering 33 ads. Walker and Republicans have outspent Evers and Democrats roughly 2-to-1 on television.