MADISON -- Less than 24 hours after sharing the state with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate in Denver, President Barack Obama stopped in Madison, Wisconsin Thursday, October 4th for a rally on the UW-Madison campus. There, President Obama encouraged young voters to register to vote, and vote early. Just hours before Obama was set to speak, Romney supporters held their own Madison event.
So many showed up to see President Obama on Bascom Hill on the UW campus Thursday afternoon that not all could get in. The UW Police Department estimated a crowd of around 30,000.
UW students Amber Sheahan and Jessica Waala said they were not surprised the site reached capacity, saying President Obama is loved in Madison.
However, not everyone in Madison is a fan. Tim Phillips is the president of the national small government group Americans For Prosperity. Phillips said Thursday following the debate in Colorado this week, momentum is on the side of Mitt Romney.
Watching the President with his deer in the headlights look as he tried to defend ObamaCare and his failed policies, to say it like a deer in headlights is an insult to every deer in America, isn't it? Americans are smart. They know failure and failed policies when they see it," Phillips said.
Using a bus and a slew of volunteers, Phillips and other Romney supporters were hoping to use what they view as a Romney debate victory as a means of working for a win for Romney in November. These Romney supporters say Obama's arrival in Wisconsin is always a good sign for Romney, as that means Obama's campaign sees the race tightening.
"He is having to spend time in states that typically, a Democratic candidate will win. It is a change for him," Romney supporter Daniel Hose said.
Hose was one of those who volunteered to work the phones in Madison on Romney's behalf Thursday. He said while Obama may have been in the spotlight in Wisconsin Thursday, he hopes to see Romney win the state and the presidency in November.
Romney is down in the polls in Wisconsin, but supporters believe there is plenty of time for a comeback. he gap between the presidential contenders has shrunk ever so slightly.
The latest Marquette University Law School poll released prior to the debate Wednesday, October 3rd shows President Barack Obama with 53% support in Wisconsin to Mitt Romney's42%. The President led by 14 points just two weeks ago.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be in Milwaukee Saturday, October 6th for a fundraiser -- and Republican insiders say Romney is planning a visit to the state in the very near future.
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