RACINE — Candidates are doubling down on campaign efforts as Election Day, Nov. 6, creeps closer.
Both Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who’s running for re-election and Randy Bryce, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District stopped Sunday afternoon at Dewey’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, 600 Main St., to shake hands and chat with voters. Baldwin is running against nurse and Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir.
Bryce, a union iron worker and labor activist from Caledonia, is up against Republican Bryan Steil, a Janesville resident, corporate attorney and member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents,
Baldwin arrived at Dewey’s in an RV that she’s using to travel up until Election Day.
“We want to get all over the state,” Baldwin said.
Just this weekend Baldwin visited Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay Racine and Kenosha. She also made an appearance in Milwaukee on Friday, alongside former President Barack Obama.
She plans to keep going until Nov. 6, with an appearance with former Vice President Joe Biden in Madison Tuesday. Democrats aren’t the only ones pulling out the big stops and making their rounds. President Donald Trump was in Mosinee to campaign for Republican candidates on Wednesday and Gov. Scott Walker stopped in Mount Pleasant for a campaign event on Saturday.
During her travels, Baldwin’s been listening to concerns from voters.
“I’ve been hearing worries about health care,” Baldwin said.
Her constituents, she said, are worried that Republicans won’t protect those with pre-existing conditions. Bryce said he’s heard the same.
“People are very concerned about health care and are disgusted with the Republicans that are promising to protect pre-existing conditions,” Bryce said.
He said many of those same Republicans have supported measures that would repeal protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Baldwin said people are also frustrated about the economy. Although things are doing well at a macro level, she said, workers aren’t seeing increased wages. And they feel like the president’s tax bill hasn’t benefited them in the way they were promised.
The people of Wisconsin are also worried loss of unity in the country, Baldwin said, with pipe bombs sent to prominent Trump critics last week and 11 people shot and killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Baldwin said she is a gun owner who supports the Second Amendment but believes that amendment can be protected while commonsense gun safety laws are put in place. She believes in background checks and the need to crack down on straw purchasers, or those who buy large amounts of guns to sell to others.
Bryce said voters worried about possible cuts to Social Security; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has recently blamed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the sharp rise in the federal deficit since 2017.
Bryce said he is optimistic about his chances in the election, and said he thinks the people of the 1st District are ready for a change. The district has been represented by House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, since 1999, but he is not running for re-election.
Baldwin is ahead in recent polling, but said she knows things are volatile and can change quickly, especially with a lot of out-of-state money coming in.
“But almost all the voters I’ve met know there are important issues on the ballot,” she said.
She said she believes voters will choose the candidate who will vote against barriers to progress.