Like I've said a lot recently, Wisconsin is going to be host to some very interesting November elections this year. If the GOP does well as an opposition party should in a president's first term, the Badger State should at least provide one pick-up for the GOP.
Julie Lassa will have a competitive race in her attempts to keep the Northwestern seat held by Dave Obey for four decades blue. Similarly, Steve Kagen, a two-term Dem from Appleton, will likely face stiff GOP competition in the Northeast. But don't forget about Ron Kind, the 7-term Democrat who represents much of the lower western quadrant of the state.
Kind won with 65 percent of the vote in 2008, in an election where the GOP had no hope of unseating Democratic incumbents. He got 57 percent in 2004, a weak Democratic year.
I would say that if Kind loses, so will Lassa and Kagen. Maybe even Feingold. So I was surprised to see the New York Times rate his race as only "leans Democratic," the rating typically reserved for races that are expected to have thin margins. Both CQ Politics and the Cook Political Report rate the race as "likely Dem," which expresses an expectation that the Democrat will win. However, when it comes to Lassa's race, it is CQ Politics that is a lone. Both the Times and Cook rate it a "toss-up," whereas CQ rates it as lean Dem.
While we're looking at these maps, it's relevant to point out that the most competitive rating the Feingold senate race gets is "likely Dem," from CQ. Both Cook and the Times rate the race "Solid D." Of course, this would be puzzling to those who took the recent Rasmussen poll, which showed Feingold leading Ron Johnson 46-44, at its word. I usually give Rasmussen the benefit of the doubt in general election polling, despite its history of GOP bias. However, the level of recognition Johnson gets after being in the race two weeks seems extremely fishy.
I am relatively confident that other polls will show Rasmussen's results to be an anomaly.