In one of the most bitter Senate races in the country, Tammy Baldwin (D) edged out Tommy Thompson (R). Baldwin has served the second district of Wisconsin since 1998, and was one of the most popular candidates within her district, which included the extremely liberal city of Madison. Baldwin went up against the once very popular Thompson. Thompson was the 42nd governor of the state of Wisconsin and served from 1987 to 2001. After his term as governor, he was appointed the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and served until 2005.
This Senate race featured more than $65 million in spending on advertising, making it one of the most heavily-funded races in the country. This election is also extremely monumental due to the fact that with her victory, Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly LGBT member of the Senate.
Baldwin's success came from her strong support in both Dane and Milwaukee counties, the two biggest Democratic strongholds in the state. This victory also prevents Wisconsin from having two Republican Senators for the first time since Joseph McCarthy was in office. After Russ Feingold (D) lost his seat to Ron Johnson (R) in 2010, and Scott Walker (R) handily won his recall election in June of 2012, it appeared as if Wisconsin was leaning more and more conservative. However, when it came to the general election, the droves of supporters in both Milwaukee and on college campuses in Madison and around the state kept this state more liberal.
Overall, in what looked like a Republican pickup after the retirement of Herb Kohl, Tammy Baldwin made history by being the first openly LGBT Senator and keeping an important seat in the Senate, assuring the Senatorial majority for the Democrats.