Incumbent: Gov. Jim Doyle (D) is retiring
Democrat: Milwaukee Mayor and former Rep. Tom Barrett
Republican: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker
2008 Presidential Result: Obama 56%; McCain 42%
55+ population (2009 estimate) 25.3%
Overview: This race was expected to be tight from the beginning and has fulfilled expectations. The anti-incumbency fever that may sweep Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) from office has no incumbent to grab hold of in this race, so the two candidates have been spending a lot of time trying to "out-outsider" the other. But both are seasoned politicians, so it will depend on what the voters think. And both are from the Milwaukee area, and will split the vote there, so the race probably will be decided by voters in the rest of the state.
50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.
Fun (or not so fun) fact: Barrett was injured last summer when he intervened with a woman who was being threatened by a man. The man beat him up and he landed in the hospital. The Barrett campaign has turned that incident into a TV ad, with Barrett's wife saying that since he stood up for the woman he'll "stand up for Wisconsin."
'Wild Card' Issue: Stem cell research. Wisconsin is a global leader in the research, and a federal court ruling that overturned new federal guidelines that loosened regulations of the research has hit hard here. Barrett supports the research; Walker is opposed.
Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future