Photo courtesy Associated Press
According to the event invitation, Obama will also speak during a reception at the Milwaukee Theatre, with requests for donations between $250 and $5,000 per person.
The Obama Victory Fund is also hosting two fundraisers on the same day. According to an invitation for the event, Obama also will be part of a campaign roundtable discussion at the Milwaukee Theatre. The event is invitation only and the cost per person is $25,000.
Tea Party Patriots’ Wisconsin State Coordinator Michael Hintze said the visits show Obama is concerned he is going to lose Wisconsin to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Hintze said Obama once thought Wisconsin “was in his pocket” but his visit shows he is concerned about losing the state.
Hintze also said Obama should be focusing on trouble in the Middle East rather than coming to the state for fundraisers.
“There are some things that are more important than being a politician,” Hintze said.
University of Wisconsin political science professor Kenneth Mayer said the visit, as well as visits from Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, shows the two parties are treating the state as a battleground and neither Obama nor Romney is taking Wisconsin for granted.
Mayer said Obama won the state by 15 points in 2008 but recent polls show the race is much closer this time. He said most polls have shown Obama leading Romney by five to seven percentage points.
Despite the recent polarization of the state following recall elections, Mayer said the visits could still help swing voters from one side to the other.
Dietram Scheufele, a UW life sciences communication professor and an expert on public opinion and politics, said Wisconsin is part of a group of fewer than 10 states, including Ohio, Nevada and Florida, the parties consider battleground states and has been the target of political ads and visits from both parties.
Scheufele said while a surprising number of voters usually wait until the end to make up their minds, the election will most likely come down to mobilization.
Scheufele said former President George W. Bush focused on mobilizing his base and turning out people who had not voted for him in 2004. He said, like in 2004, this election will come down to mobilization and convincing the bases to come out and support their respective candidates.
“There’s going to be very little cross-over,” Scheufele said. “It’s tremendously important for the candidates to talk and reach out to people to try and make an influence.”