The Washington Times - October 3, 2012, 02:07PM

Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin still holds a lead in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race but her advantage has shrunk over former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, according to a poll released Wednesday.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday afternoon shows that Ms. Baldwin leads Mr. Thompson 48 percent to 44 percent, as the two candidates vie to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.

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Ms. Baldwin’s 4-point advantage is smaller than the 9-point lead she enjoyed in a Sept. 19 Marquette poll but is in line with several other mid-September polls that showed her as a narrow favorite over Mr. Thompson.

The former Wisconsin governor appeared to be the clear favorite in the race this summer, as an August Marquette poll showed him leading Ms. Baldwin by 9 points as he battled through a four-way GOP primary.

However, the tables turned in September as support for many Democrats, including Ms. Baldwin and President Obama, surged following their national convention.

Poll director Charles Franklin said another factor in Ms. Baldwin’s surge was that she outspent Mr. Thompson and was more visible on the campaign trail while he kept a relatively low profile and regrouped from a difficult primary.

He suggested that Mr. Thompson has recently ramped up his campaign efforts, which has allowed him to draw back within striking distance.