Thursday, November 1, 2012--5:40p.m.
MADISON--Amanda Stoddard is pretty new to Wisconsin. "I've been with this campaign in Wisconsin for about a week and a half now," she said. But she's a very dedicated volunteer for the Obama campaign: "I flew out from Seattle actually," she said. "I decided I wanted to be in a swing state and really make my time matter."
She said she had no idea the president would be making another Madison stop when she decided to come here--but with today's news that he'll be here on Monday--she's pretty pumped.
"We knew that he was in Green Bay, we knew he was in Milwaukee, but the fact that our hard work here and he gets to come visit us is overwhelming and we're just really really excited," she said.
The president's Madison visit will be his third Wisconsin stop in five days. Republican rival Mitt Romney is also campaigning hard here in the election's home stretch. We decided to ask a local political analyst for his take on all the attention being paid to the badger state.
"Wisconsin is one of the more important swing states left in the election," said Professor Richard Haven, of UW Whitewater. "There's no question for President Obama it's one of three states he's going to be focusing on at the end: Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. Those are critical Midwestern states that he hopes to carry."
Professor Haven said Republicans also see an opportunity to turn the badger state from the Democratic column--into the Republican one. "That hasn't happened in a while, I think it goes back to Ronald Reagan's election in '84," he said.
With only ten electoral votes, it may seem like the badger state is getting a disproportionate amount of attention, but Professor Haven said Wisconsin could be crucial to either campaigns' hopes for success. "I think what they're doing now is to zero-in on the states that are most important to their coalition," he said. "And for President Obama there's no question that he has to hold those three key Midwestern states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio. For Governor Romney he's got to break through somewhere, he may carry Florida, he'll probably carry North Carolina but he's got to either get Virginia or he's got to get New Hampshire or maybe Wisconsin."
As for why the president is picking to spend his final campaign day in Madison, Professor Haven said it's a move meant to mobilize his base--and one Stoddard said could help with get out the vote efforts.
"I'm really excited what that means for the city and just to get everyone riled up and I can't wait till he gets here," she said.
As for where the President will be on Monday, we don't yet know the exact location. But an official with the Mayor's office told us that it will likely be somewhere in the city, not on-campus.
In terms of the cost of his visit, we're told that his last stop here cost the Madison Police Department $130,000.