> I've got to ask why this election is even close.
It's a fair question, but the guy is an incumbent who ran unopposed last time. They always have the upper hand in a variety of ways. Also, Wisconsin is not as obviously liberal as it is sometimes taken to be. I mean, couldn't you also have asked why the Feingold-Johnson race was "even close," given Feingold's general popularity, name-recognition, and incumbency. And yet, soundly beaten by a GOP unknown.
That Kloppenburg might actually win no one would have thought possible before Walker and his cronies got their law passed. The fact that she might eke it out is testimony to the reaction against Walker. It almost certainly wouldn't be "even close" (the other way) otherwise . . .