With Trump Set to Take Center Stage at Milwaukee GOP Convention, Wisconsin Could Be Key to Election

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MILWAUKEE – Supporters eagerly lined up for blocks in Racine, Wisconsin, thrilled to see presumptive nominee Donald Trump in June and ecstatic about hosting July’s 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

“Amazing, awesome, we’re very excited!” exclaimed one supporter.

Some 50,000 people will gather here beginning July 15, taking over Milwaukee’s convention center and adjacent Fiserv Forum.

“This convention will be a little bit different because they will be nominating a convicted felon, which we have not seen in previous cycles, but that can actually be a rallying point for Republicans at this convention,” said Nathan Gonzales, Inside Elections editor.

Another rallying point – keeping attention on Joe Biden’s age and competence after his disastrous debate performance.  Alongside the presidential and vice-presidential nominations, delegates are making key platform decisions on their “America First” agenda.

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“The number one message is going to be about the economy,” emphasized Republican Wisconsin State Senator Julian Bradley. “We are going to talk about the fact that ‘Bidenflation’ and ‘Bidenomics’ have been a Biden failure. We’re also going to focus on the other places this administration has failed, and that is where the border comes into play, that’s where supporting law enforcement comes into play.”

“We can’t let them (Democrats) get away with a one-sided conversation on abortion,” Bradley added. “We have to remind people that being pro-life, defending life, that’s the good thing to do. We have to remind people that abortion up to birth is inconceivable. Most Americans agree with us and we are going to make the Democrats defend their stance for once.”

Security concerns loom large, especially after anti-Israel protests. U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle assured, “Previous experience and extensive preparation all contribute to a level of confidence ahead of this convention. We have been busy preparing for any possible scenario, including planned and pop up demonstrations.”

Former Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly Mike Huebsch expressed concerns about election integrity: “There’s real concerns about the tactics that were used in 2020, whether or not that is going to continue in 2024. Whether or not the law is going to be followed or whether the courts are going to say ‘we don’t like the law, we are going to change it so you can vote one way or another’ and of course a very big concern is whether those people that are not citizens, the migrants who have come in over the last four years, whether or not they will be eligible to vote.” 

MORE  GOP Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ensure Election Integrity: ‘A Clear and Present Danger’

Wisconsin is definitely a swing state, with President Trump winning in 2016 and Biden in 2020.  Since the year 2000, three presidential elections have been decided in the Badger State by a single percentage point.

“When it’s a close race, each vote makes a difference,” said former Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum, co-chair of Wis-Act, an organization of Republicans and Democrats working to restore election trust.

The Republican National Committee is offering plenty of opportunity to get involved come November. The RNC launched a new initiative to mobilize polling place monitors, poll workers, and attorneys to serve as ‘Election Integrity’ watchdogs. RNC Chairman Michael Whatley hopes to recruit 100,000 volunteers to help.

“It’s gotta be easy to vote, gotta be hard to cheat,” said Bradley.

Kathy Bernier, Wisconsin director of Keep Our Republic, highlighted the organization’s election education efforts. “Our goal is to make sure everyone understands that our democratic republic is based on our electoral system. That we get to elect the people that represent us, and that all votes should count. All eligible votes should count,” she said.

Unless there’s a change in the Democratic ticket, the likely 2024 rematch of Biden and Trump promises to be another nail-biter with a unique twist — two candidates who’ve served in the White House.

“Between those two, where do you want to go?” asked Huebsch.

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