Eager to overcome the narrative that Mrs. Clinton lost the 2016 election, in part, because of her infamous decision to not once visit the state, Democrats have selected Milwaukee as the city to host their nominating convention in July. And Priorities USA, one of the leading Democratic super PACs, has been outspending the Trump campaign on digital ads in Wisconsin since last July.
Mr. Trump came to promote his campaign theme of “Promises made, Promises kept.” But in reality, dairy farmers in Wisconsin have been struggling since he took office, with farms closing and Democrats attributing the loss of dairy farms and jobs to Mr. Trump threatening a trade war with China.
Mr. Trump, however put forth his trade policies as reasons to support him.
“What we’ve done with China, what we’ve done with the U.S.M.C.A., what we’ve done with Japan,” he said. “You’ve got to love Trump. You’ve got to love Trump.”
Democrats signaled that they would invest heavily to win back the state.
“Wisconsin is going to be one of the states that decides this election and we’re investing in the state accordingly,” said Cassidy Geoghegan, the Wisconsin outreach director for Priorities USA. Ms. Geoghegan said that health care costs in the state are on the rise and “farmers are having to sell their cows and close down their operations,” while wages are not keeping up.
Mr. Trump’s rally was the centerpiece of a two-day push in Wisconsin, with top aides and family members making stops in smaller venues around the state.
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, flew commercial with Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, to Milwaukee from Washington on Tuesday morning to lead a discussion about prisoner re-entry programs.
Lara Trump, who is married to Eric Trump, the president’s second eldest son, visited Rib Mountain on Monday to speak to voters. And Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to a Culver’s restaurant in Milwaukee to talk to voters in the kind of small, intimate venue that Mr. Trump does not often frequent himself.