Former HHS Secretary and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has yet to rule out running against Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in 2010, but he won't be deciding this year.

A Thompson for Senate campaign, which appears unlikely, would nonetheless throw the seat into contention. Right now, Republicans haven't focused much on the seat.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Thompson said Tuesday he has not discounted the possibility, saying he will make a decision about whether to get into the race next year. The popular former governor holds a slight edge against Feingold in a hypothetical matchup, according to a poll last month by Ken Goldstein, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist.

"I haven't said no," Thompson said in an interview. "I'm looking at it. I'm looking at governor, I'm looking at senator and I'm looking at mayor of Elroy. One of the three."

Political analysts consider Feingold to be in a solidly safe seat for the moment. Roughly 54% of state residents say they think favorably of Feingold, according to the recent UW poll.

But they note that things could change between now and the election. With Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, voters could turn against the party, especially if the unemployment rate stays in the double digits.