Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee will impact whole state

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Democratic National Committee announced Monday it was picking Milwaukee to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention over Miami and Houston.

MATC political science professor Maurice Sheppard said the choice helps put Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a state on the map. He said it also gives Democrats the chance to avoid mistakes they made in 2016.

"At least on the presidential side, Milwaukee and Wisconsin in particular were not given the attention that it probably should," Sheppard said.

However, Sheppard said while the convention could help the Democrats in the state, the party has to do more to connect with voters.

"They have to go the extra mile, not just have the convention, but do the grassroots work here in Wisconsin that quite honestly, in terms of a presidential election, was missing in 2016," he said.

Wisconsin Republican Party director Mark Jefferson does not think voters will be convinced by Democrats' ideas.

"The agenda that the Wisconsin voters are going to see up close is going to be one that’s going to turn a lot of people off and I think it increases our chances of keeping our state red," he said.

Jefferson also said he is confident President Trump will carry the state again in 2020.

"You’ve seen job growth, you’ve seen regulation cut, you’ve seen a lot of economic activity in the state since the president was elected. So I think Wisconsin voters are going to be very pleased with what they’ve seen out of President Trump and the peace and prosperity that our country has experienced since he’s been in office," Jefferson said.

Wisconsin's Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says Milwaukee hosting the Democratic National Convention next year will provide a "first-hand look at Democrats' extreme policies."

Johnson and fellow Republicans are also saying bringing the convention to Wisconsin could serve to motivate Republicans to re-elect President Donald Trump.

Johnson says Wisconsin Republicans will see the risk of "socialist tendencies" from Democrats.

Jefferson says it's "only fitting" that Democrats chose to come to Milwaukee over Miami and Houston because Milwaukee has elected three socialist mayors.

Jefferson says Wisconsin will "reap the economic benefits of a convention," while Democrats show why they can't be trusted to run the country.

Beyond the political impact, the convention is expected to boost the economy not just in Milwaukee, but statewide. According to Democratic National Committee spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa, estimates show about $200 million will flow into Wisconsin's economy.

In Madison, the city is expecting to see more traffic closer to the convention. Destination Madison is already trying to bring some official convention housing to Madison's hotels.

Destination Madison president Deb Archer said Madison's businesses and restaurants will see more customers. She also thinks the city's ties to progressive politics will bring more people to the city before and after the convention.

"It's in all likelihood that we could see a lot of visitors here before and after and with our state capital, Democratic administration, that there could be a lot of interest in Madison," Archer said.

The Democratic Convention is slated to take place July 13 to July 16, 2020.