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Although the 2020 presidential election cycle has proven fluid and unpredictable so far, a near certainty is that Wisconsin will again be a battleground state this fall. With that likelihood in mind, President Trump is holding a campaign event in Milwaukee Tuesday. Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff from the rally venue to share what Wisconsin voters are saying about Trump, impeachment and Iran.
There have been few certainties in what has been a very fluid 2020 presidential election cycle so far. But it is likely that Wisconsin will again be one of the battleground states this fall that will help decide whether President Trump wins a second term.
Mr. Trump is campaigning tonight in Milwaukee, the state's largest city.
And our own Yamiche Alcindor is on the ground there.
So, you have been trying to get a sense of how both sides in this presidential cycle, both Democrats and Republicans, are trying the appeal to voters.
Wisconsin is seen as a critical state for both Democrats and Republicans. President Trump won this state with fewer than 23,000 votes, by fewer than 23,000 votes.
So, what you see here is a really slim margin that Democrats and Republicans are both eying. Now, there is a fight against — a fight with Republicans pushing to purge at least 200,000 voters from the rolls. Democrats are trying to stop that. That's moving through the courts.
So, you see already a legal battle there. But we have been out talking to Republicans and Democrats about this.
Here's what a Republican had to say about the president coming to Wisconsin tonight.
Obviously, for the — on the Democratic side, there's a lot of energy on their side. But they need to get their voters out, and that will — potentially could swing Wisconsin blue.
Obviously, I'd like to see it stay in the red column, but, obviously, you know, Trump just needs to continue to talk up the strong U.S. economy, strong consumer growth, you know, strong — the stock market has been very good. You know, consumer confidence has been very good.
So, there you hear a Republican voter saying this is what President Trump needs to say to us.
But we were also out talking to Democrats, and they are using the president's visit here to organize. They have been canvassing.
So here's what Rick Banks — he's a political director of an organization that is focusing on voters of color specifically. They have been registering voters in Northern Milwaukee.
Here's what he had to say about the president coming here and how that could affect their work.
There is nothing that moves people like anger, I think.
When people — for Trump to come in our backyard and spew the hate and the racism and the bad political policies that he spews, like, that's going to motivate people to turn out.
I think that people are really fired up. People who see the impeachment things, and they see what's going on with Iran, and they're just like, man, this guy is just nuts. Like, we got to get him out of here.
So that's really both sides saying that Wisconsin is critically important, Judy.
And we heard the gentleman you spoke with just now mention impeachment. It's likely the president will bring it up tonight.
What are his supporters there where you are saying about impeachment and this Senate trial coming up?
Now, we're at a Trump rally, so these are the president's fiercest supporters, his most loyal supporters.
But they are saying they do not feel as though the president is threatened at all by the Senate impeachment trial. Democrats have been saying that this is really a critical phase of this, that the president could be removed if they could convince enough Americans and enough Republicans to vote to remove him.
But here's what a pretty loyal Trump supporter had to say about the impeachment trial that's going to be heading up and coming to a head here.
The whole impeachment thing, you know, that Nancy Pelosi kind of dreamed up here is nothing but a joke. People are already feeling like — even Democrats are starting to feel like, you know, it was just a farce.
They don't have anything really against him. You know, he's been impeached, but he's the only president they impeached that has broken no laws.
Of course, that voter says the president has broken no laws. Democrats disagree. They say that the president shouldn't have been trying to push to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.
But I talked to a lot of Trump supporters. And they said they see nothing wrong with what the president did. They're actually, of course, echoing a lot of the president's own points. He said that Democrats went after him on this issue because they were mad about the 2016 election and want to see him go out of office, Judy.
And, Yamiche, the other story that's very much in the headlines right now, and that is, of course, Iran, the decision by the president to go after, to kill the Iranian general, Soleimani.
What are his supporters saying about that?
And the president is still facing critical questions, a lot of questions on whether or not the threat that Soleimani posed was imminent.
There have been a lot of top national security officials who have said that they didn't know the place or the time that this attack was going to happen. President Trump, of course, has been having a pretty evolving explanation about why Soleimani was killed.
But, that said, his supporters say that this is really all semantics and that people should be getting behind this president.
So, here's what one voter told us about that issue.
Most of the mainstream media is swooning over the guy like he was a revered military leader. He was a terrorist.
Go interview — the mainstream media, go interview the soldiers who are missing limbs. Go interview the people that don't have legs that can't walk in their front door that fought for our country. But they're over there interviewing Iranians.
So the vote — that voter is essentially saying that Soleimani was a bad person and we shouldn't even be discussing whether or not it was imminent or anything else, but, really, we should be focusing on the fact that he was someone who was threatening Americans.
That's also what I have been hearing from a lot of supporters. Someone else told me that he really rallied — even, as a Republican, rallied around President Obama when he killed Osama bin Laden, and he feels that people should be doing the same for President Trump.
So, even as President Trump continues to face some criticism over the killing of Soleimani, his supporters are backing him here, Judy.
Yes, it does sound like it, from talking to that voter.
Well, Yamiche, you're going to be covering the president's rally tonight. We look to hearing about it later.
Yamiche Alcindor on the ground in Milwaukee, thanks.
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