Wisconsin is suddenly an election battleground state

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Tim Kaine will be paying a visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday, with the GOP suddenly believing it's in play.
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While the usual "election battleground" suspects of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania grab most of the headlines, Wisconsin is suddenly being involved in the conversation.

The Associated Press reports both Republican candidate Donald Trump, his running mate Mike Pence, and Democrat vice-presidential pick Tim Kaine will be in the Cheese state on Tuesday, as part of their drive not only for presidential votes, but also Senate votes.

Wisconsin is where one of the most hotly-contested Senate races is unfolding, between Republican incumbent Ron Johnson and Democrat challenger Russ Feingold, with Johnson's seat being one of those identified as potential wins for the Democrats as they attempt to flip the Senate.

CNN reports the Clinton campaign began dropping its first ads in the state over the weekend as it attempts to shore up her support and the backing of Feingold, who has a lead over Johnson in the latest polling.

This will be backed up by a further $2 million in ad spending by the Democrats-supporting Senate Majority PAC after recent suggestions that Johnson was clawing back ground, which in turn prompted a six-figure ad buy from the Republican leaning Let America Work PAC, the publication says.

Trump seeks to capitalize

Even though Wisconsin was considered a near-lock by the Democratic campaign, the latest development relating to Clinton's emails on Friday has put momentum back with Trump, who is broadening its reach beyond the traditional battlegrounds as he looks to capitalize.

According to Dan Roberts, the Guardian's Washington bureau chief, Trump's appearance in Wisconsin is a sign he thinks there's a chance in the more traditionally Democratic areas of the Midwest as he looks further afield for the 270 electoral college votes he needs to become president.

The renewed optimism among Republicans "has created an unusually vast national battleground for both candidates to cover," Roberts says, and he could seek to swing votes in areas that have been hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The newspaper points out that Clinton finished behind Bernie Sanders in the Wisconsin primaries. That said, Trump also finished behind Ted Cruz.

On Saturday, Trump suggested the ongoing controversy over rising healthcare prices in Minnesota could put the Land of 10,000 Lakes in play. He faces an uphill battle though, given the state hasn't voted Republican in 44 years.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton still has an 83.9 percent chance of winning Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, with the last poll taken of the state – before the latest email developments – putting Clinton five points ahead.

The statistics website has Feingold with a 94.8 percent chance of winning the Senate race.

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to Go Vote MN.

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