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Milwaukee Could Play Big Role In Picking The Next President

Milwaukee is expected to play a big role in the presidential election.

As we inch closer to the election, the importance of Milwaukee voters is becoming more and more clear. It’s the largest city in Wisconsin and home to a large portion of the state’s minority populations. In 2016, when Hilary Clinton was running against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, she was criticized for not stepping foot in Wisconsin. 

Joe Biden’s campaign has visited the state multiple times and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris has visited Milwaukee, but Biden himself has yet to hold an event in the city. While Milwaukee generally goes blue on Election Day, there are no guarantees in an election taking place during a pandemic.

Sam Levine covers voting rights for The Guardian, an online international news publication. He recently wrote a piece looking at why Milwaukee could determine Joe Biden’s fate in the November election. Levine says ultimately who wins will come down to voter turnout.

“I think there’s a lot of signs of high turnout, a lot of enthusiasm, but there are severe and really unique obstacles that we haven’t seen before that could challenge that,” he said.

Levine says there isn’t a clear partisan breakdown on whether high voter turnout helps one party over the other. However, he says there is a reflexive attitude in the Republican Party that anything that allows more people to vote or makes it easier to vote is going to hurt their party. This partisan divide is playing out in the expansion of mail-in voting, with Republicans cautioning against the practice and Democrats encouraging it.

“There are plenty of Republican voters who vote by mail; senior citizens, military voters, who don’t want to appear in person. In a lot of states, voting by mail has been a really important part of Republican strategy for getting out the vote,” he said.