Biden campaign holds virtual events ahead of DNC, visits from Trump and Pence

NOW: Biden campaign holds virtual events ahead of DNC, visits from Trump and Pence

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- This coming week will be a busy one in Wisconsin's political world with the four-day Democratic National Convention and visits from the president and vice president.

Although the DNC has been dramatically scaled back, blockades in front of the Wisconsin Center are evidence that the convention will still have a presence in Milwaukee. Both presidential campaigns have their eyes on Wisconsin this week. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign kicked off Saturday, Aug. 15 with virtual events in Milwaukee with State Senator Latonya Johnson and in Stevens Point with Democratic National Committee Secretary Jason Rae.

"I'm scared about what's gonna happen if Donald Trump gets four more years," Johnson said on a Zoom call.

"Wisconsin is absolutely pivotal to winning the white house. we've said it from the start. you can't win the presidency unless you go through Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin," Rae said on a Zoom call.

The Zoom calls come ahead of a week filled with live-streams in which Biden intends to accept his party's nomination. Although he no longer plans to appear in person in Wisconsin this week, his opponent will. President Donald Trump will appear Monday in Oshkosh and Vice President Mike Pence will stop in Darien on Wednesday.

Trump Victory Spokesperson Anna Kelly sent CBS 58 a statement responding to the Biden campaign's virtual events Saturday:

"No amount of Zoom calls from the Biden Campaign will bury the fact that their candidate has not stepped foot in Wisconsin since 2018. Meanwhile, our team has activated tens of thousands of volunteers across Wisconsin who are energized to send Joe Biden packing and re-elect President Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot in November."

The Women For Trump bus is headed to Pleasant Prairie on Sunday.

"Campaigns are smart. Campaigns know they have limited resources. They know how to get a message across, and so I think this was very shrewd planning by the Trump campaign," UW-Milwaukee Emeritus Professor Mordecai Lee said.

Lee said these campaign events are mostly in effort to rally the candidates' main bases. But in Wisconsin, a state Trump won by just 22,000 votes, both sides are doing whatever they can to get an advantage.

"Wisconsin still has a small number of undecided voters and the campaign of both of them is trying to say, 'I want to persuade you. I want to give you a reason to vote for me,'" Lee said.

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