MILWAUKEE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says a 2016 rematch election with Democrat Russ Feingold will be close but he's optimistic that Republican grassroots campaigning will help him to victory.
The Republican told reporters at a news conference in Milwaukee on Friday that he expected Feingold would run but didn't think Feingold would announce his candidacy so soon. Feingold announced Thursday that he would challenge Johnson.
With 18 months until the election, Johnson says he plans to focus on his work in Washington and hopes the state Republican Party will help him campaign.
Johnson also says early opinion polls that show Feingold ahead are meaningless. He says it's too early to forecast how people would vote.