The Washington Times - September 20, 2012, 04:38PM

Former Wisconsin governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson says his declining poll numbers in recent days are due partly to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s lack of momentum on the presidential campaign trail.

Mr. Thompson, a Republican, was considered a favorite as recently as last month in his Senate race against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, but a poll released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School shows him trailing Ms. Baldwin by 9 percentage points.

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A CBS/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed the race as tied at 47 percent. A Marquette poll last month showed Mr. Thompson with a 9-point lead.

Mr. Thompson downplayed the gap in an interview with WKOW-TV in Madison, Wis., but said his declining numbers have been caused in part by the Romney campaign’s negative momentum in recent weeks.

“The presidential thing is bound to have an impact in any election, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” he said. “If your standard bearer for the presidency is not doing well, it’s going to reflect down the ballot.”

Mr. Romney has struggled to gain traction this month as President Obama has seen a bump in support since this month’s Democratic National Convention. Polls have shown him establishing leads in several swing states including Wisconsin, where Wednesday’s Marquette poll showed him with a 54-40 lead.

Mr. Romney had appeared to draw virtually even in the state last month in the weeks after he chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Mr. Thompson expressed optimism that things can turn around for himself and the GOP presidential candidate, and also chalked up his own lagging numbers to Ms. Baldwin’s advantage of running unopposed in last month’s Democratic primary.