GREEN BAY — It won't be long until two major races - one statewide, one national - are decided.
And Wisconsin voters are in the thick of it.
"Welcome to Wisconsin," said Mark Graul, a Republican strategist, joking about the quirkiness of Wisconsin politics.
Graul says it's clear there has been a wave of statewide Republican support, especially in the wake of Governor Scott Walker's recall election.
Recently released polls Wednesday show Democrats are gaining ground in Wisconsin.
Results of a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday show Baldwin now leads her Republican challenger, Tommy Thompson, 50 percent to 41 percent.
Flip-flop those numbers and that’s what you had one month ago, which showed Thompson, a former governor, leading Baldwin, a U.S. representative from Madison, 50 percent to 41 percent.
On the presidential side, Obama’s lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney grew to 54 percent to 40 percent. In August, the race was closer with Obama leading 49 percent to 46 percent.
However, another poll by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut for CBS has the Senate race even and shows slight gains for President Obama over the last month.
But when it comes to statewide races (either the presidential or Senate race), Graul says Wisconsin voters care less about policy and more about personality, populism and progressiveness.
"I think if you look at Wisconsin's history, you can see that in both parties, politicians that have been successful have been reform oriented, have been progressive parts of their party,” said Graul. “Been willing to put their necks out on the line for ideas."
Wisconsin's no stranger to party turnover – from the governor's office to Republican Ron Johnson's Senate seat (which has shifted between Republicans and Democrats for years).
However, the same can't be said across the board. Senator Herb Kohl's seat has been a solid Democratic since the 50s; and Wisconsin voted Democrat in presidential races since 1988.
"The voters are looking at who they think is going to compromise and who is going to solve these great issues," explained Deb Stover, communications chair with the Brown County Democratic Party.
Stover says the recent polls mean there are a lot of emotions leading up to the November election - especially when it comes to the economy.
"There's some crystal clear issues, I think and that is reflected in how the polling is going in Wisconsin," said Stover.
"Every state's a purple state,” said Charley Jacobs, a St. Norbert College political science professor. “It's one of the things that we neglect to realize. It's what shade of purple are you?"
Jacobs says the reason it seems major offices go back and forth between parties is because they do.
"Voters are willing to select a candidate for office who has those progressive roots and progressive ideas," said Jacobs.
He says making voters a much more true shade of purple than a Republican or Democrat might think.
Jacobs says independent voters will play a key role in November's election.
He says voters often use the momentum of national races to decide how they'll vote in local races.
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