Democrats battle Trump-backed millionaire for Senate seat in swing-state Wisconsin. (Part-1)

New Glarus, Wis. — Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, whose “go everywhere” 2018 campaign strategy inspired key Wisconsin victors, knows her path to victory against a multimillionaire Republican admirer of former President Donald Trump passes through New Glarus. The pastoral community of 2,200, founded by Swiss immigrants and known for its Spotted Cow specialty beer, is far from Milwaukee and Madison, where Democrats like Baldwin and President Joe Biden win big.  

“Look, in a state like Wisconsin, a 50-50 battleground state, you don’t have to win every county,” Baldwin remarked in a warehouse full of Wisconsin-only New Glarus beer. "But it's really important to get people to vote and have discussions and increase turnout in every community."  

The Senate campaign between Baldwin and Republican Eric Hovde is expected to be one of the most competitive and expensive. Democrats are fighting for 23 Senate seats, including three controlled by independents who caucus with Democrats to maintain a 51-49 majority. Baldwin's victory is vital. Compared to 11 Republican seats they want to maintain.  

Baldwin stresses her nearly 40 years in office in Wisconsin and her ability to fight for state concerns like helping the dairy industry, investing in infrastructure, and maintaining employment in America.  

Hovde, who has nominal opposition in the Aug. 13 Republican primary, calls Baldwin a career politician who has failed to address citizens' worries about immigration, the economy, and foreign affairs. He called her “nothing but a progressive left rubber stamp.” Trump won the state in 2016 but lost to Biden in 2020, so he is balancing with him. Both races were decided by under 23,000 votes. In Tuesday's presidential primary, 18,500 more Republicans than Democrats voted, suggesting GOP enthusiasm.  

Hovde received Trump's endorsement at a Tuesday night rally in Green Bay and promoted it in a fundraising call on Wednesday. He has distanced them in various ways. Trump has erroneously claimed, particularly at his Wisconsin speech, that Biden stole the 2020 election. Hovde told AP he disagreed.  

Do I suspect theft? Non,” Hovde said. Are there troubling and challenging things? Yeah. So tidy them up.” Hovde said he supports Trump on “most of his policies” but won't “engage in the politics of personal destruction.”  

I’m committed to trying to bring our country together,” Hovde said, contrasted with Trump, who called Biden a “lunatic” and his followers “thugs” at the Green Bay event. Hovde told AP that the country is too divided. We must heal. I'll collaborate, cross the aisle."  

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