Surrogates join gubernatorial, US Senate candidates in final push days before election

MADISON — Candidates for governor and U.S. Senate were blanketing Wisconsin on Thursday, with surrogates including House Speaker Paul Ryan and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway in tow, as part of a final push to next week's election.

A recent poll showed the governor's race between incumbent Republican Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers, the state superintendent, is tied. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has maintained a double-digit lead over Republican Leah Vukmir, a state senator, in several recent polls.

Vukmir was campaigning with Ryan and Walker on a bus tour from Waukesha to Green Bay. Vukmir had a separate stop with Conway in Appleton. She also won the endorsement of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday, who said "as the daughter of immigrants, Leah understands the challenges working-class families across the state face and I know she will be the strong advocate these families deserve."

Vukmir supports President Donald Trump's immigration policies, including building a border wall, while Baldwin supports changing the U.S. immigration system and came out strongly this week against ending birthright citizenship as the president called for. Vukmir issued a statement generally in support of the idea.

Evers is on his own tour — in a yellow school bus — through western and northern Wisconsin starting in Tomah and ending in Ashland. Baldwin was campaigning in Marshfield and Mauston before ending in Madison where she planned to cast her ballot. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts — a likely 2020 presidential candidate — was coming to Madison and Milwaukee to host "Women for Tammy" rallies for Baldwin.

Two other likely Democratic presidential candidates, California Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden , have also been in Wisconsin in recent days to support Baldwin.

Evers launched a new campaign ad Thursday emphasizing criticism of Walker from four of his former Cabinet secretaries. Three of them signed a letter urging a vote for Evers, while a fourth said Walker was not being truthful about his roads budget.

Walker, who is seeking a third term, has dismissed the criticism saying it shows he's willing to surround himself with people who have differing viewpoints. The ad is Evers' 14th of the campaign, while Walker has run a staggering 33 ads. Walker and Republicans have outspent Evers and Democrats roughly 2-to-1 on television.