Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin has won Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat.
Baldwin defeated former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson on Tuesday for a seat that's been held by Democrats since 1957. With the victory, Baldwin also becomes the first openly gay candidate to win election to the Senate.
The seven-term congresswoman from Madison built her campaign around the argument that the 70-year-old Thompson no longer spoke for Wisconsin residents.
Baldwin noted that the four-term governor, who hadn't been on a ballot in 14 years, made millions of dollars in the private sector off connections he made while governor and U.S. health secretary.
Thompson had attacked Baldwin as too liberal for Wisconsin, focusing on her position on health care reform.
His defeat marks Thompson's first ever loss in a statewide election.
MADISON (WAOW) - 10:45 Update: The crowd went nuts here in Madison when NBC projected President Barack Obama winner. There's been a lot to cheer about for Wisconsin Democrats tonight, but now supporters at Tammy Baldwin HQ are waiting for any news on the U.S. Senate Race.
Another interesting behind-the-scenes note: the DJ here has been rocking the 80s jams all night. Lots of Michael Jackson and Madonna. "Jump Around" even blared throughout the room at one point. And lots of Badgers in the room did just that.
MADISON (WAOW) - 9:09 Update: The buzz around the room is that FOX News has called the U.S. Senate race for Tammy Baldwin. However, most people here aren't convinced. Supporters say they'll wait until more media outlets project a winner in the race.
The atmosphere in this room is electric. Lots of people are very optimistic about the outcome of tonight's election.
The ballroom is almost completely full now and the media risers are packed.
A speaker just announced we will hear from several Democratic representatives coming up and later in the evening, Tammy Baldwin will address the crowd.
Still haven't heard if she has arrived at Monona Terrace.
MADISON (WAOW) - 8:36 Update: It's getting loud in here! Lots of people have gathered in the ballroom at Monona Terrace to watch election results roll in. Every time a state is called for Barack Obama, a large cheer erupts.
When several news networks called Wisconsin for Obama, as you can imagine, supporters here at the Wisconsin Democratic headquarters started cheering very loudly.
They are showing live coverage of the election on two giant projection screens.
Many of the reporters here are starting to prepare for their late night live reports (including me!) and waiting for results on the U.S. Senate Race.
For some behind-the-scenes pictures, check out my Twitter account: bshelton_ waow
MADISON (WAOW) - 4:37 Update: Dozens of media outlets from across Wisconsin have gathered at Monona Terrace in downtown Madison to watch the election results roll in tonight.
Many reporters have started getting ready for live reports during 5 o'clock newscasts. There are risers set up for all of the media outlets here, and staff at the hotel and convention center have brought in more tables for members of the media to set up laptops.
Tammy Baldwin is not expected to arrive until after the polls close.
Stay with Newsline 9 for updates throughout the night.
MADISON (WAOW) - Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin hopes to become Wisconsin's first female U.S. Senator.
She was unopposed in the Democratic primary and faces former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson on election day. The senate seat has been held by a Democrat for more than five decades and Baldwin already has the support of current U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, who has held the seat since 1989.
Baldwin has said throughout the campaign that she's committed to Wisconsin's middle class. She told reporters in Wausau on Monday that she feels confident about her chances. The latest polls show Baldwin has a slight lead over Thompson going into election day.
Tammy Baldwin's campaign headquarters will be located in Madison at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Newsline 9's Bonnie Shelton will be at the event and will have complete coverage throughout the night.
You can check back here for updates throughout election day.
For behind the scenes pictures and information from Baldwin's campaign headquarters, you can follow her on Twitter: @bshelton_waow
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