Eric Hovde

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Eric Hovde
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Candidate for
U.S. Senate, Wisconsin
Bachelor'sUniversity of Wisconsin
Campaign website
Eric Hovde was a 2012 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin.

Hovde earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and went on to start his own financial firm. He went on to work in the banking sector and now runs a real-estate development firm.[1]


Political philosophy

Hovde has described himself as a free-market conservative. He criticized 2012 Democratic opponent Tammy Baldwin for having a "philosophy [that] has its roots in Marxism, communism, socialism, extreme liberalism."[2]

Campaign issues

Hovde discussed his platform on his campaign website:

  • "Small and medium-size businesses are the engine of our economy. We need to encourage innovation and investment through pro-business and pro-growth policies that will get our economy moving in the right direction.
  • If we are going to get serious about job creation, we need to make sure that everybody who wants to find work can and we need a fair and equitable tax system that will allow businesses of all sizes and individuals from all walks of life to compete and thrive.[3]
  • While there is no easy solution to fixing the economic mess that we find ourselves in today, progress will require restructuring at every level. This includes the following:
  • Reducing the size of government
  • Reducing debt and deficit
  • Reforming the tax code
  • Significantly reducing regulations
  • Overhauling trade policy
  • Halting current Federal Reserve monetary easing[4]



See also: United States Senate elections in Wisconsin, 2012

Hovde ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Wisconsin. He sought the nomination on the Republican ticket. He faced Mark Neumann, Jeff Fitzgerald, John Schiess and was defeated by Tommy Thompson in the August 14 Republican primary.[5] Two democratic political action committees, Majority PAC and Women Vote! spent money running ads against Hovde and Thompson. Majority PAC spent $370,000 and Women Vote! spent $420,000. Overall, $3.4 million were spent by outside groups about Republican candidates in the senate primary race.[6]

Swing seat

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics published an article called Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012, detailing the eight races in the Senate in 2012 that will decide the political fate of which party will end up with control in 2013.[7] The seat rated a a toss-up that the Sabato's Crystal Ball believes could be decided by the party's nomination is the Senate seat in Wisconsin. If former Governor Tommy Thompson (R) can win the Republican nomination and make it to the general election in November, the article believes he would have a significant edge.[7] According to the article, "Given the current state of these toss ups, it’s not a stretch to think that a Thompson victory in Wisconsin could end up giving Republicans their 51st Senate seat."[7]


A July poll put Hovde up two percentage points over Tommy Thompson in the Republican primary. The same poll also showed both Hovde and Thompson having equal chances of beating Democratic contender Tammy Baldwin.[8]


Hovde is married with two children.[9]

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