Wisconsin's Russ Feingold Battles Mood for Change

Associated Press + More

WAUSAU, Wis. — Wisconsin's rural Marathon County helps show why U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is fighting an uphill battle to win re-election next week.

Many residents are conservative but have supported Feingold because of his maverick reputation. This year they're less charitable. Polls show Feingold trailing or running even with Republican challenger Ron Johnson.

One reason is the local economy. Dairy revenue has dipped and the city's unemployment is higher than the state average. Meanwhile, TV ads portray Feingold as a career politician embedded in Washington. Feingold is trying to persuade voters he has solutions while his opponent has none.

Johnson says he will use his background as a businessman to scale back government programs.