WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Senator Russ Feingold says he should not be considered the front-runner in his bid for a fourth term. If that self-appraisal is true, Democrats face a greater risk of losing their majority in the Senate than they believed when summer began.
“Frankly, I love being the underdog,” Mr. Feingold said. “Let me have it.”
As the senator talks to voters across Wisconsin, that description is perhaps an exaggeration for an incumbent with a national reputation, but it has become a central part of his pitch. He is not eager to concede that control of the Senate could hinge on his seat — though it very well could — but he hopes the warning cry will prompt his loyal Democratic followers to rally to his side in a challenging election year.
“Clearly if somehow I lost, it would be a sign that we’re getting close to the line,” Mr. Feingold said in an interview on a recent day of campaigning. “We won’t lose, but it is something that is legitimate for me to mention — this seat could determine things.”
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