Kenosha a flashpoint of presidential campaign, but little room to shake up race

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – Kenosha proved to be a flashpoint in the 2020 presidential campaign with both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden visiting the city, but while the city drew national and international attention – it’s not immediately clear what impact it will have on the race.

What is clear is that each side is aiming to draw contrasts with the visits.

“Donald Trump’s visit – it was one that sought to divide this city and this state even more,” Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes said in an interview on CBS This Morning. “Joe Biden’s trip was all about listening, it was different, he didn’t make incendiary remarks before he showed up to Wisconsin.”

Republicans, however, say President Trump’s visit brought concrete results.

“It was informative for the president but it was also good for the community because he brought with him an aid package,” Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Andrew Hitt told CBS 58. “Joe Biden, on the other hand, clearly a political campaign stop.”

While Kenosha provided a state and national stage for both Trump and Biden to illustrate their responses to the issues of race and law enforcement in America, experts believe with just two months to go until Election Day, there is not much room to swing votes in either direction.

“Really, it comes down to turnout,” said David Canon, a political science professor at UW-Madison. “Most voters have made up their mind, it’s just whether or not, you know, which side can get their voters to the polls. And clearly, the events in Kenosha have intensified views on both sides but I don’t think it’s changing too many people’s minds at this point.”

Canon said the issues of race relations and law enforcement will remain in the minds of voters, but issues like the economy and response to the pandemic will likely remain at the top of priority lists for voters.

The attention doesn’t leave Wisconsin any time soon.

On Labor Day, Vice President Mike Pence visits La Crosse and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris is set to make a stop in Milwaukee.

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