Their national convention – which largely took place virtually rather than in host city Milwaukee – is over, and now Wisconsin Democrats are working to turn out the vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Felesia Martin, 1st Vice Chair of the state Democratic Party, said President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has energized voters of color in Milwaukee and elsewhere.
“We know we have to send a clarion message to him, that this is unacceptable, and that black lives matter too,” Martin said. “People of color will not stand for this type of leadership, and we will stand up and we will push back.”
UW Madison student and DNC delegate Loren Yoder said the pandemic is also resonating with young voters
“So many people are realizing that these actions that have been taken by the president – or lack of actions that haven’t been taken by him – really effect them and effect their families,” Yoder said.
The latest Marquette Poll found 63 percent of Wisconsinites either “worried” or “very worried” about contracting COVID0-19, while a new CBS News Poll found 57 percent of Republicans nationally believe the number of U.S. deaths from coronavirus has been “acceptable.”
Democratic voters of color in Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city, will need to turn out in far greater numbers than they did in 2016, if Joe Biden is to succeed where Hillary Clinton failed, Martin acknowledged.
“We’re getting it done and the excitement is beyond anything that I would have imagined. I am so hopeful for Milwaukee, I’m hopeful for a high turnout amount. We had great absentee ballot response in our recent April and August elections.”
Yoder said a message to younger voters is to not forget the legislative races on the ballot in Wisconsin this fall.
“What we’ve been doing with the College Democrats of Wisconsin, and specifically at UW Madison is focusing a lot on candidates for state Assembly and state Senate, and how change is made on that level rather than solely on the national level.”
Republicans currently hold a 63-34 advantage in the state Assembly and an 18-13 edge in the Senate.