'It really sucks:' Delegates disappointed by virtual convention

’It really sucks: ’ Delegates disappointed by virtual convention

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Under normal circumstances there would be close to 5,000 delegates in Milwaukee, ready to cast votes for the presidential nominee, but this year is anything but normal.

“It really sucks for the city, it sucks for all the delegates,” said William Walter, a Bernie Sanders delegate.

Walter is attending virtual meet and greets and watching speeches online, a disappointment for a first-time delegate and a Wisconsinite.  

“We get pushed the side burner in a lot of people’s minds,” Walter said. “They just look at Milwaukee and Wisconsin in particular as cows, beer and cheese and we have a lot more to offer than that.”

This year’s convention won’t have the typical fanfare either, no crowds cheering, confetti drops and live music. Still, some delegates say there is still an upside: the convention is more accessible.  

“Anyone who has internet access, they can check out any of the daytime content or primetime content,” said Nick Katers, a Wisconsin delegate. “It means we have a broader dispersal of energy rather than just being focused on activists.”

Even presumptive nominee, Former Vice President Joe Biden, is staying home. Some are questioning if skipping Wisconsin will be a costly mistake, like it was for Hillary Clinton, who didn’t campaign in the state during the general election in 2016. Delegates say they aren’t worried. 

“If we were all running around and free to move around the country and he didn’t show up, that’d be one thing but I think the average American vote is smart enough to realize the type of situation this is and how different this is from 2016 from 2020,” said Chris Walton, a Wisconsin delegate and the chair of the Milwaukee County Democrats. 

Delegates typically cast ballots at the convention to formally nominate the candidate. However this year votes were cast before the convention even started.

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