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Sen. Feingold has already spent almost $7 million on next year's election

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New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The election's not for another year, but U.S. Senate Democrat Russ Feingold has already spent $6.67 million on it.

That's the second-highest of any Senate incumbent who's up for re-election in 2010.

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And Feingold's camp has raised about $9 million, twice as much as at the same point in his last campaign six years ago.

Feingold is going for his fourth term and for the first time, he never shut down his campaign after his previous election in 2004.

Feingold says he insists on building grassroots support, and getting his campaign money mainly through small donations, and it's expensive to raise cash that way.

Over half of what he's spent has gone toward fundraising.

Republicans say Feingold's more concerned about keeping his seat than he's been in the past.

But so far, at least, his two GOP opponents are relative unknowns statewide - Madison developer Terrence Wall and Watertown businessman Dave Westlake.

Observers say Wall has the money to make himself known next year.

Former Governor Tommy Thompson is also looking at jumping in but he says he won't decide until next year.

A recent UW-Madison poll gave Thompson a slight edge over Feingold.

But the latest Badger Poll says 54 percent of Wisconsinites give Feingold a favorable rating.

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