The Midwestern state of Wisconsin takes its turn in the spotlight as the U.S. Presidential campaign comes calling.
Both Democrats and Republicans have primary elections scheduled April 5 in Wisconsin with the contests becoming increasingly competitive by the day.
On the Democratic side, front-runner Hillary Clinton holds a 1,712 to 1,004 delegate lead, but is reeling from five losses to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Last week, Sanders claimed caucus victories in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. The socialist’s luck was so good he was visited by a small bird during a campaign speech in Portland, Oregon which produced wild cheers from the crowd and earned a pause and smile from the candidate.
Clinton, meanwhile, won Arizona and amped up her attacks on Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump. The former Secretary of State tweeted on Monday, “Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere – what Republicans have sown with their extremist tactics, they’re now reaping with Trump’s candidacy.”
Trump’s insurgent campaign lands in Wisconsin at a time when the GOP establishment is desperately attempting to stave off the billionaire businessman’s takeover of the party. Trump currently holds a 749 to 468 delegate lead over U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. A Republican candidate must procure 1,237 delegates in order to win the party nomination.
“I have millions more votes/hundreds more dels than Cruz or Kasich, and yet am not being treated properly by the Republican Party or the RNC,” Trumped tweeted on Tuesday.
Wisconsin, known for its dairy farms and Green Bay Packers football team, is traditionally a blue state in Presidential elections, but controlled by Republicans at the state level. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, an out lesbian, has endorsed Clinton.
Meanwhile, Tad Devine, a campaign manager in the Bernie Sanders campaign, tells SFGN, his man is in it for the long haul.
“We believe Bernie has the most powerful message,” Devine said in a "spin room" interview following the DNC debate in Miami. “It’s a message that centers on an economy in America that is rigged and sending almost all of the new wealth to the top and that rigged economy is being held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance.”
Devine, who has worked on past Presidential campaigns for John Kerry and Al Gore, said Sanders is an authentic candidate.
“It’s not just the words of the message but the credibility of the messenger and we think by far we have the most credible messenger to deliver the most powerful message,” Devine said.
Elsewhere, Cruz picked up the endorsement of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and is banking on aid from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker to win Wisconsin.
“Who cares what Donald is tweeting late at night?,” Cruz told a press conference on Monday. “We need real solutions to the real problems in this country.”
From Wisconsin, the campaign moves to New York where Clinton and Trump hold advantages in their home states.