A Vote For Russ Feingold

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold stood calmly in line at his neighborhood polling station, bright and early on election day, ready to cast his vote the moment it opened.

It's a vote he may desperately need, if the latest polls, which pit him slightly behind his opponent, are to be believed. The incumbent Feingold is a three term Senator up against a Republican who is new to the world of politics, businessman Ron Johnson.

Feingold implies it's not quite a fair fight. "He's spent $9 million of his own money and on top of that he's gotten $3 million from interest groups," he said. Feingold claims much of the money supporting Johnson is from outside the state of Wisconsin and that, "outside interests are trying to control this election".

The Democrat had been dubbed "a maverick" earlier in his career for not always voting along party lines, but despite a slew of campaign ads and a recent fundraiser hosted for him by Michelle Obama, Feingold seems to be facing an uphill battle this time around.

Some evidence of that could be seen at his chosen polling place. Despite his 18 years in office, several of those in line waiting with him to vote didn't seem to know who he was. "Why are there cameras here? Why are they pointed at that man?" one woman said to me. "Who is that?" another whispered.

When asked about some random speculation among Wisconsinites that, if unsuccessful, Feingold might seek higher office, the Senator seemed surprised. "Really?" he said. "Well I want to be Senator from Wisconsin. The weather's great!" he added with a smile.

The Wisconsin state board of elections predicts a 50% turnout at the polls today.