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Russ Feingold Announces He's Running For The Senate In 2016

Welcome back, Russ!

Great news for Democrats! We are likely to win back this seat, and as you know, Russ is usually on the side of the progressive angels:

WASHINGTON -- Progressive Democrat Russ Feingold announced Thursday that he will run for Senate in 2016, hoping to win back the seat he lost six years ago.

Feingold made his announcement in a video that was provided in advance to The Huffington Post. In it, he cites issues near and dear to his heart, like taking on corporations and big money in politics, as his justification for running.

"People tell me all the time that our politics and Washington are broken. And that multi-millionaires, billionaires and big corporations are calling the shots," Feingold says in the video. "They especially say this about the U.S. Senate, and it’s hard not to agree. But what are we going to do? Get rid of the Senate?

“Actually, no one I’ve listened to says we should throw in the towel and give up -- and I don’t think that either," he adds. "Instead, let’s fight together for change. That means helping to bring back to the U.S. Senate strong independence, bipartisanship and honesty."

The race will be a rematch between Feingold and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who defeated him during the tea party wave of 2010. Feingold ran what was widely considered to be a lackluster race that year, and many Democrats have stressed that2016 needs to be different.

But there are several factors working in Feingold's favor this time around: Democratic turnout tends to spike in presidential election years, and recent polls have underscored that Johnson is one of the most vulnerable sitting GOP senators.

The polling numbers are all in his favor:

PPP's first look at the Wisconsin Senate race this cycle finds Russ Feingold with a clear lead over Ron Johnson in a hypothetical rematch of their 2010 contest. Feingold gets 50% to just 41% for Johnson.

Johnson hasn't proven to be very popular during his first term in the Senate. Only 32% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 40% who disapprove. 28% of voters with no opinion about him also suggests he hasn't made a terribly strong impression on people over the last 4 years. Meanwhile Feingold is still relatively popular despite his 2010 loss. 46% of voters see him favorably to 35% with an unfavorable opinion. That makes him more popular than any other politician in the state who we looked at on this poll.

Feingold has a big initial advantage over Johnson for a couple key reasons. He is up double digits with independents, at 52/38. He's also winning 11% of the Republican vote while losing just 4% of Democrats to Johnson. It's relatively unusual to see the Democratic base that much more unified than the GOP one.

To get on his email list, go to RussFeingold.com.

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