Baldwin wins re-election to seventh term
Tammy Baldwin (I) 190,433
Chad Lee 118,037
Tammy Baldwin goes back to the House of Representatives in familiar territory: She's back in the minority, where she has spent most of her time in Congress.
Voters on Tuesday decided the Madison Democrat deserves a seventh term representing Wisconsin's 2nd District. She said she hopes not to be serving in a body that spends the next two years taking positions designed to help their sides win the presidency in 2012.
As Republicans take over the House, she said, they have a decision to make:
"They can decide to squarely face the challenges that the nation faces right now, or they can decide, as some have suggested, to spend the next two years trying to deprive President Obama of a second term."
If Republicans choose the former, there are lots of opportunities to work across party lines for the nation and for their constituents, Baldwin said.
"But if they choose the latter, it's going to be an ugly two years.
"I know, in my own experience, that I definitely want to help individuals and families and communities I represent," Baldwin said. "I have to believe that some of my Republican colleagues want the same. What better common ground can you have than that?"
One common goal is to get the economy on a path to sustainable growth, Baldwin said.
Both sides agree on extending middle-class tax cuts, Baldwin said, so why not agree to that now?
Baldwin said she has seniority on the energy and commerce committee, so she's likely to stay there. She said she has been effective on that committee while in the minority in the past.
One key issue that committee will take on is implementing health care reform, Baldwin noted.
Energy policy also presents opportunities for finding common ground, she said.
Baldwin called her margin of victory "pretty healthy," considering the difficult campaign environment.
Her Republican challenger, Chad Lee of Mount Horeb, faced an uphill battle against the incumbent's name recognition and superior finances in a district that leans Democratic.
Baldwin said Lee resorted to negative campaigning, but she stuck with positive radio advertising and talked about working together to help the economy recover.