As the 2020 presidential election draws near, two Democratic candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg, attempt to attract Wisconsin voters by establishing campaign offices in downtown Madison last month, according to The Cap Times.
Jan. 21, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, became the first Democrat to open a campaign office in Madison for the 2020 presidential election. According to The Cap Times, the opening event welcomed families from across the city in support of the growing Warren for President movement, and also promoted the office’s need for volunteers. According to Warren’s website, their highest volunteer need is making calls to voters.
Warren was not the first Democrat to open a campaign office in the state of Wisconsin as a whole. Back in December, Bloomberg opened his first Wisconsin office in Milwaukee. Regarding its opening, Bloomberg addressed intentions to target Wisconsin by calling it a “key state” in the electoral college, according to FOX6 News.
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“I think Wisconsin understands they are one of the keys to making sure Donald Trump is not our president for the next four years,” Bloomberg said.
Press Secretary for the Wisconsin for Mike campaign, Brandon Weathersby, said the opening of the Milwaukee office has allowed volunteers to consistently reach out to voters across the state.
According to The Cap Times, Bloomberg’s Madison office will be located in Capitol Square. It is not yet open, but workers are in the process of setting it up. It is expected to open in the next couple of weeks.
“The opening of the Madison office only reinforces our message that Mike is speaking to voters around the country while other candidates are spending all their time in early-voting states,” Weathersby said.
A key difference of the Bloomberg campaign, Weathersby noted, is the campaign aspires to be boundless across the nation. Instead of waiting until the general election to campaign in states like Wisconsin, voters are being targeted as early as possible.
University of Wisconsin students can expect to see these efforts implemented by Bloomberg’s campaign through different events in Madison, as well as one-on-one interactions by the campaign in the coming months until the Wisconsin primary April 7. The events can be found on Bloomberg’s website.
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UW political science professor Barry Burden said Warren may find a more natural audience among college students, but Bloomberg’s resources guarantee targeting many Wisconsin groups simultaneously.
Burden also commented on the importance of Democratic candidates to make the Madison area a priority while campaigning before the primaries.
“It is not clear which candidates will still be in the race when the Wisconsin primary rolls around,” Burden said. “No Democrat can afford to overlook the Madison area.”
Burden suggests the small presence of Democratic offices in Wisconsin could be due to candidates such as Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg allocating their resources and efforts into the states with early caucuses.
“Given his fundraising success and the fact that he won the Wisconsin primary in 2016, we should expect an office opening from Sanders soon,” Burden said.
Weathersby said as these crucial next few months in presidential campaigning quickly approach, Madison residents and other Wisconsinites can expect more and more action from the Democrats to win their vote, essentially moving a step closer to defeating Donald Trump.
According to 270 To Win, Wisconsin is historically a swing state. When Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848, the state leaned Republican until the late 1920s, when the economic and social effects of the Great Depression turned it Democratic. Then again, in the mid-1940s, Wisconsin swung back to Republican until the 1980s, from which point the state’s voting tendencies became indistinguishable.
According to 270 To Win, in the 2012 election, 52.8% voted Democrat while 45.9% voted Republican. In 2016, 46.5% voted Democrat while 47.2% voted Republican, showing the pattern of closeness between the democratic versus republican voting numbers in the past.