MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Barack Obama will visit Wisconsin three times during the five days before the election to lock up votes in a battleground state where polls now show him leading Republican Mitt Romney.
His trips also could help another Democrat locked in tight race: U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin. She plans to appear with Obama at every event, including a Monday rally in her hometown of Madison with rocker Bruce Springsteen that's certain to attract the biggest crowd of the campaign season.
Their rivals, Romney and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, haven't conceded the state and appeared together Friday at State Fair Park outside Milwaukee.
Baldwin and Thompson are vying to replace longtime Sen. Herb Kohl in a seat held by Democrats since 1957. The winner could help determine which party has majority control of the chamber, and money has poured into the campaign, making it the most expensive Senate race in Wisconsin history.
History is on Baldwin's side. Wisconsin has not voted for a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. And no Democratic Senate candidate on the ballot in a presidential election year has lost since 1980, when Gaylord Nelson was unseated by a Republican wave led by Reagan.
The last time a Wisconsin Senate race coincided with a presidential election was 2004. That year, Democratic incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold got 143,000 more votes than Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, even though both won the state.
Baldwin is unlikely to outperform Obama like Feingold did Kerry.
A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed Obama with an 8-point lead and Baldwin with a 4-point advantage. The poll had a 2.8 percentage point margin of error.
Obama and Baldwin did even better among early voters. Ten percent of the survey respondents said they had already voted, and of those, 56 percent cast ballots for Obama. Thirty-six percent said they voted for Romney. Baldwin was ahead of Thompson 52 percent to 36 percent.