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Trump supporters campaign in-person in Wisconsin

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 19, 2020 - Duration: 02:35s

Trump supporters campaign in-person in Wisconsin

Republican Party leaders in Wisconsin say that in a state where President Donald Trump won by less than 1 percent in 2016 - and where his Democratic opponent Joe Biden leads in the most recent opinion polls - volunteers need to do everything they possibly can to reach voters, including face-to-face interactions.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

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Trump supporters campaign in-person in Wisconsin

At a Republican Party field office in Baraboo, Wisconsin, some twenty volunteers for President Donald Trump's reelection packed in for a training session, one of several campaign events in the area.

Some wore masks, but many did not, despite the governor's order to do so indoors.

Trump campaign volunteer Scott Olson is in the no-mask camp.

"I think a lot of us believe this coronavirus is overblown a bit." In a state where Trump won by less than 1 percent in 2016 - and where his Democratic opponent Joe Biden leads in the most recent opinion polls - vice chair of the Republican Party of Sauk County Al Exner says he and his party need to do everything they possibly can to reach voters.

"We're still doing door to door.

We're still doing telephone.

We're still putting up signs.

We're not doing anything really differently than we did four years ago." Democrats, on the other hand, have taken the opposite approach: shuttering field offices and scrapping in-person campaigning, as health experts have recommended social distancing, says chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Ben Wikler.

"If you knock on someone's door, they might get mad at you... So we switched gears to a totally virtual organizing model where our organizers work virtually, the neighborhood volunteer team leaders work virtually, and they recruit virtual volunteers through virtual organizing... Democrats across the board are listening very closely to public health experts, to doctors, to the research - and also to voters." Wikler insists virtual organizing will not put Biden at a disadvantage in November.

The former vice president was scheduled to appear at the Democratic convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but opted instead to accept the party's presidential nomination remotely.

Trump, meanwhile, visited Wisconsin on the first day of the Democratic convention, as well as in June.

And Vice President Mike made a campaign stop in Darien, Wisconsin, on Wednesday.

Scott Frostman, chair of the Republican Party of Sauk County, says nothing beats face-to-face contact.

"People are going to be more responsive if they're given a personal invitation to come to an event than they are when they see a Facebook posting or they're more likely if they know some friends are going to be coming to an event." Sauk County is seen as a bellwether in Wisconsin.

It voted for Trump by a mere 109 votes four years ago.

Trump's narrow victory over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin marked the first time the state had voted for a Republican in a presidential election since 1984.

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