Democrats launch media blitz in Wisconsin to counter GOP debate
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A lot of attention this week has been focused on Republicans and how they're looking to capitalize on hosting the first GOP debate in Milwaukee, but Democrats are also trying to get in on some of the limelight by launching a media blitz to counter the debate.
In part of a $25 million ad buy in six states, including Wisconsin, President Joe Biden's campaign will release an ad featuring a Milwaukee mom on Wednesday ahead of the presidential debate at Fiserv Forum.
The ad focuses on Kilah Engelke, a construction worker and mother of two, who talks about how the Biden administration's economic agenda, coined Bidenomics, is working. It's a theory that rejects the idea of “trickle-down” policies in favor of focusing on the middle class. Biden visited Milwaukee last week to tout his administration's work.
It's part of Democrats' year-long strategy ahead of the 2024 election to target voters in the Milwaukee-area as Republicans will have a big presence with the debate and the party's nominating convention next summer.
"At the end of the day, people want their roads built, they want to drink clean water," said Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "We are not focused on a clown show. We are actually focused on delivering real things."
Harrison and other members of the state and national Democratic party are all making a point to be in Milwaukee this week. On Wednesday, they will hold a joint press conference to get their message across as Republicans look to soak up being in the national spotlight.
Gerard Randall, first vice chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Committee, said they are making sure the party profits from these opportunities as they focus on making inroads with college-aged voters and in the Milwaukee suburbs, known as the WOW counties -- Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington -- that were once a reliable deep red voting block, but now trending blue.
"We feel having it here in Milwaukee, which is part of the swing states that are going to be targeted, will make a big difference in how we're able to get that message out directly to those voters that will matter," Randall said.
"The Republican message, I think has started to catch fire with many voters crossing party lines because Republicans are known to be more effective at delivering jobs and making the economy more accessible."
The GOP debate will air Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Eight candidates have qualified, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson