The countdown is on for U.S. Senate candidates to make those final campaign stops before Tuesday's partisan primary election.
Republican candidate Eric Hovde made a stop at American Custom Converting in Howard Thursday morning.
Hovde, a hedge fund manager with no history in politics, says the nation's economy is struggling to grow.
He says his eight point economic plan, which he says would address things like the national debt, energy independence and economy regulation will turn the country around.
"We have to turn this around and we have to get our economy back on track, now," said Hovde.
Citing recent polls, Hovde believes the four-person Republican race will come down to two candidates - himself – and former Governor Tommy Thompson.
"Either I’m in the lead or Tommy’s in the lead and with five days out, I think that's where it's probably going to end up," said Hovde.
A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday has Thompson's lead shrinking, sitting at 28 percent to Hovde's 20 percent – with 21 percent of voters undecided.
Backed by supporters at Titletown Brewing Company in Green Bay, Thompson said all four Republicans have a chance to face Baldwin.
But he says when it comes to beating Baldwin, the clear choice is "Tommy."
“If you would ask any one of the four candidates who has the best chance to win, every single one of them – if they had to write it down – the name would be ‘Tommy Thompson.’"
Former congressman Mark Neumann, who trials Thompson and Hovde in the polls, made a stop in Appleton as a part of his Tea Party Express bus tour.
Neumann says he is the proven conservative in the field of four; he will fix Washington and is confident heading into Tuesday’s elections.
“We are feeling very good. We closed a gap by 15 points over a couple weeks,” said Neumann, with cars honking in the background. “So listen this! People are honking going by. Life is good.”
State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald spoke with FOX 11 in a phone interview from Milwaukee.
Fitzgerald – who follows Neumann in the polls with 13 percent – echoes Hovde's sentiments that the nation needs to get back on the right track – primarily in the area of job creation and boosting the economy.
He says his battle-tested experience ushering in reforms in Wisconsin proves he has the mettle when it comes to Washington politics and says being a "dark horse candidate" in the Republican primary helps his cause.
"[Washington] is going to have to make some tough choices like we did here in Wisconsin," said Fitzgerald. "And that's what we need to do to get to a budget and balance it and get this country back on the right track. Under pressure, I'm able to deliver on it and that's what I'll go to Washington and do the same thing."
The campaign for Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin released a statement saying:
“While our opponents tear each other down in the Republican primary, we have focused on Tammy's fight to lift the middle class up by building a "Made in Wisconsin" economy, creating jobs and moving our recovery forward."
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