July 23, 2014

UW Madison prepares for Obama

Crews set the stage for Obama’s visit Thursday on the UW-Madison campus. (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Crews were hard at work Wednesday, preparing for President Barack Obama’s second visit to Wisconsin in less than a month. Technicians spent the crisp fall afternoon setting up a stage and seating area on the campus’ Bascom Hill, where a crowd of thousands is expected Thursday afternoon.

Obama was last in Madison in 2010, where he spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands of people at the University’s Library Mall. During that visit, he urged voters to get out and support Democratic Senator Russ Feingold’s reelection bid and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in his run for governor.

UW-Madison political scientist David Canon says the president can expect to see a lot of friendly faces when he visits campus. He says events such as this are a great way to energize the Democratic base.

AUDIO: David Canon (:23)

The president’s visit comes as Obama continues to hold a double digit lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. A Marquette University Law School Poll released Wednesday showed Obama leading Romney 53 percent to 42 percent among likely voters.

As part of security precautions for the president’s visit, several buildings near the site of the event have been closed for the day and parking restrictions have been put in place across the campus. Gates for the event open at noon, although President Obama is not expected to speak until much later in the afternoon.