Pelosi tells fellow Democrats ‘It’s all riding on Wisconsin’

Democrats are trying to win back a key Midwestern battleground state that Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.

Nancy Pelosi at Dem convention
United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells Wisconsin Democrats their state could determine the outcome of the presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in November [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a stark reminder to Wisconsin Democrats on Thursday about the importance the Midwestern battleground state plays in the presidential election less than 11 weeks away.

“No pressure, it’s all riding on Wisconsin,” Pelosi told more than 100 Democrats during a virtual meeting tied to the final day of the Democratic National Convention. “No pressure.”

Democrats, as well as United States President Donald Trump, have made no secret how essential winning Wisconsin is to the race this year.

Wisconsin did not get the national attention it hoped for when the Democratic convention – originally planned for the state’s biggest city, Milwaukee – was moved online because of the coronavirus.

Trump and his surrogates have flooded the state this week, drawing a sharp contrast with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who decided against travelling to the state to accept the nomination due to concerns over COVID-19.

After Trump’s narrow victory of fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016, and polls showing another close race this year, Democrats are pledging not to downplay the importance of Wisconsin in Biden’s efforts to defeat Trump.

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“The road to the presidency runs through Wisconsin,” said Holder, who was attorney general under former President Barack Obama.

“The fate of the United States, the fate of the western world, is on your shoulders. Not too much pressure,” Holder said.

Holder and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also stressed the importance of denying Republicans the six seats needed in the Wisconsin Legislature to have a veto-proof supermajority headed into the once-a-decade process of redistricting next year.

Wisconsin has been at the front of the national battle over redistricting, with Democrats taking a challenge of the current maps to the US Supreme Court.

Republicans need to pick up three seats in the Wisconsin senate and three in the state assembly to have supermajorities that could override any Evers veto. That would enable the GOP-controlled legislature to enact any map it wishes after redistricting next year, just as it did in 2011 when Republican Scott Walker was governor.

Eric Holder
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder is leading the Democratic Party’s campaign against gerrymandering in US states [Yuri Gripas/Reuters]

Evers and Democrats have rallied around a “Save the Veto” message, with the first-term governor saying Thursday that he had temporarily suspended fundraising for his own re-election to focus on that effort.

Evers predicted that Republicans would convene “within seconds” to override his veto of the maps if they have the votes to do it.

“That’s what this year’s election is all about for me, and I think for you also,” Evers said.

“Sure, it’s about defeating the Trumpster and making sure his brand of nonsense comes nowhere near the White House again. I know Joe is going to win in November, but it’s also about maps,” Evers said.

Holder said Wisconsin had the most gerrymandered maps in the country.

“We need to make sure that Democrats have a seat at the table,” Holder said.

“This is an existential presidential election, I get that. But so are the races happening down the ballot in Wisconsin as well, and across the country,” he said.

Source: AP