Visits from Trump, Biden in the same week show battleground Wisconsin remains key in presidential race

Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 19:52:51-04

MADISON — As the presidential race heats up, battleground Wisconsin is the place for candidates to be. Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in Green Bay on Tuesday evening, and President Joe Biden is scheduled for a visit to Madison next week.

For each candidate, turning out their base voters will be key to winning in a state where the 2020 race was decided by less than 1% of the vote. For Biden, that means hitting the Democratic strongholds of Madison and Milwaukee, where he visited last month. The Biden campaign and the Democratic Party have also opened dozens of campaign offices across the state.

Trump’s trip to Brown County, where he won in 2020, is his first to the state since the 2022 midterm, when he visited in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels.

“The Democrats’ ground game in Wisconsin has gotten progressively stronger over the last two years. Donald Trump hasn’t been in the state, and so he has ceded a bit of an advantage on that side, but it’s still early enough to recover,” said UW-Madison journalism professor Mike Wagner, who researches political communication.

At the polls, voters in Tuesday’s statewide primary told TMJ4 they were enthusiastic about the campaign stops.

“I feel like being able to hear them speak publicly – and even if you get the opportunity to have them answer some of your questions – that can really help people, especially first-time voters like me,” said UW-Madison student Aileen Perez.

Visits to Wisconsin by candidates and their surrogates are only expected to become more frequent as November approaches.

“Some Wisconsinites in Madison and Milwaukee, in Green Bay, in some of the more rural parts of the state may well see Donald Trump or Joe Biden more than they see some of their friends and neighbors in the fall of 2024,” Wagner said.