It was a little more than a month ago when an enthusiastic crowd in Madison welcomed actor Michael Douglas to open a second Wisconsin campaign office for presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.
“Mike can get it done,” Douglas said.
A weak showing in the Super Tuesday races however, spelled the end of the road for both Bloomberg and the other Democratic primary candidate with a Wisconsin office, Elizabeth Warren.
Wisconsinites will not have to wait long however, for presidential attention to be placed back on one of 2020’s key swing states. At an event Thursday night, campaign organizers for Bernie Sanders announced they would be opening a Madison office on Tuesday.
“The road to the White House runs through Wisconsin, and we know that it runs through Wisconsin on April 7,” said Milwaukee labor organizer Peter Rickman at the campaign event. “Wisconsin's where we put the primary to rest we're going to be at the center of the nation.”
Sanders faced an underwhelming performance in this week’s round of Super Tuesday elections, but supporters like U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, say the momentum is still with the campaign.
“We are pretty much in a dead heat going forward, going to Tuesday [Michigan’s primary], and going into Wisconsin and the rest of the states,” Pocan said.
UW-Madison political scientist David Canon however, does not think Sanders has a clear path to victory in the nomination.
“Sanders, I think now is a long shot to win, certainly [to win] a majority,” Canon said in a post-Super Tuesday interview.
Of the probability of a contested convention, Canon said “I think it'll be closer to 50-50, maybe a little under 50-50 even, I would guess after all the [California] results come in. So it's still a real possibility, but it's less likely.”
Sanders’s is not the only campaign with an eye on the Wisconsin electorate. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to stop in Onalaska this week before cancelling the trip to travel to Washington to address the rise in coronavirus cases there, and member of the first family Donald Trump Jr. stopped by Waukesha Friday for a Republican Party event. The Biden campaign has not yet indicated their plans for the badger state.