Former Dem U.S. Senate candidate Tom Nelson says he believes national Dems “have gotten the message” after he said the party was making an insufficient investment in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democrat Mandela Barnes.

“The volunteers who are getting their walking packets at the office and making phone calls, they’re hearing the cavalry,” Nelson said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with “The cavalry is coming. It might be just over a ridge a little bit, but it will be here.”

Asked whether it may be too little too late, Nelson said, “Well, I mean, I think you’re going to find out after the election.”

Nelson, the Outagamie County executive who dropped out of the race before the August primary along with Alex Lasry and Sarah Godlewski, recently told CNN, “To have the national party come in and screw things up in the first month of the general election in my book is unforgivable.”

Barnes is trailing Johnson in the polls by as much as 6 points in the most recent Marquette Law School survey.

“There are races they had a lot of money in, and they’re pulling that money out and they’re putting it here in Wisconsin,” Nelson said. “And people who are way above my pay grade are seeing something.”

Also on the show, longtime Republican strategist and Johnson surrogate Brian Schimming noted the recent influx of national Democratic spending in the U.S. Senate race.

“We have seen by the latest finance reports that tens-of-millions of dollars are coming in against Sen. Johnson, and so you can’t dismiss that,” Schimming said. “There’s an enormous amount of national left-wing money pouring into the state against Ron Johnson.”

Still, Schimming said the Johnson campaign feels confident heading into the final two weeks.

“He’s up a little bit right now by almost every poll that we’ve seen out there,” Schimming said. “And so whether it’s internal or external, most of the polls right now are reflecting exactly the same thing, and that is that the trajectory of the race has changed very dramatically.”

Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report’s Senate and governors editor, said as soon as this week, it could change its ranking for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race from “toss-up” to “leans Republicans.”

“I think of all our toss-up races, this is one I could see kind of putting a pinkie on the scale for,” Taylor told “UpFront.” “For right now, it still meets our toss-up column. That could change in the final few weeks.”

In the race for governor, Taylor said she doesn’t anticipate changing the “toss-up” rating before Election Day between Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican Tim Michels.

“Two points could be a blow-out in this race,” Taylor said. “He’s very much on the chopping block. I think both him and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak I see as the two most endangered incumbents this cycle.”

Tracy Johnson, president and CEO of the Commercial Association of REALTORS Wisconsin, told “UpFront” she wasn’t surprised by Harley-Davidson’s announcement this past week that the company plans to ‘repurpose’ its Milwaukee headquarters.

“There has been talk about reconverting that, putting that back on the market for additional office space, turning that into a campus,” Johnson said. “I think they have a lot of opportunities to also split up that property.”

Harley’s CEO Jochen Zeitz told Bloomberg the move is to accommodate a more virtual workforce.

More broadly, Johnson said CARW’s new third-quarter report showed a slowdown, higher vacancies and negative absorption with companies continuing to adjust to a post-pandemic workforce.

“Companies that have signed leases 10 years ago before the pandemic, and before there was such a focus on technology and hybrid work, are letting those leases burn off,” Johnson said. “They’re making different decisions about their office footprint. You also see users saying I can get more for less as rents are decreasing and more space becomes available.”

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