What to expect at President Trump’s rally in Milwaukee
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – President Trump’s visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday, Jan. 14 will be his first of 2020 and will aim to accomplish several goals, chiefly beginning the work of holding on to Wisconsin’s crucial ten Electoral College votes for his bid at re-election.
Both republicans and democrats recognize the importance of Wisconsin in this year’s contest.
“Wisconsin is likely the tipping point state in 2020,” Ben Wikler, the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin told CBS 58. That sentiment is echoed by the GOP.
“Whenever the Electoral College is close, the election in Wisconsin is close,” said Mark Jefferson, the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s Executive Director.
Republicans say it is noteworthy that the president is not just visiting republican strongholds in the state but heavily democrat-populated areas like Milwaukee.
“I think that’s one thing that the president has done very effectively in swing states like Wisconsin,” Jefferson said. “He’s taken his message everywhere and he’s doing that tomorrow and we’re glad he’s coming.”
While republicans believe the president will have plenty to tout at the rally, Democrats view it differently.
“Trump is here because he is terrified of losing in Wisconsin,” Wikler said.
Democrats will be debating in Des Moines, Iowa the same night. It’s the final debate before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. Wikler says the party is already making efforts on the ground to win back the state, a lesson learned after Hillary Clinton did not visit the state during the general election in 2016.
“Whichever nominee winds up getting elected to represent the Democratic Party, we know that they will be fighting for every vote in Wisconsin, because this is where we end the trump era once and for all,” Wikler said.
Going into Tuesday night’s rally, the president faces challenges on several fronts, including the impeachment process and criticisms over his decision to direct an airstrike that killed Iran’s Qasem Soleimani.
But experts say people should expect Trump to focus more on positives for him, including the economy and policy ideas popular with his base.
“Clearly, holding rallies like these in Milwaukee is part of that effort,” said David Canon, a political science professor at UW-Madison. “To try to keep a focus on things he wants to talk about rather than impeachment.”
Canon notes that while also using rallies to set the national discussion, people can also expect the president to take on his critics.
“He uses these events as an opportunity to attack his opposition,” Canon told CBS 58. That, Canon says, becomes one of the high points of rallies for his supporters.
“The crowd just loves it.”