UP: Eric Hovde. Two polls released this week show the businessman is either topping or closing in on former Gov. Tommy Thompson for the lead in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann and state Assembly speaker Jeff Fitzgerald trail. In June, polls had Hovde in third place. Tammy Baldwin is running unopposed for the seat in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary; the general election is Nov. 6.
DOWN: Rainfall. Severe dry weather has forced the Madison Fire Department to battle three to five grass fires every day. Gov. Scott Walker declares a state of emergency in 42 counties, including Dane, which makes it easier for farmers to irrigate crops with stream or lake water. A burning ban - which also prohibits fireworks and smoking outdoors - remains in effect in much of southwestern Wisconsin. Landscapers have also reported a severe drop in business because of the dry weather.