EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - It's no secret that Eau Claire has served as a campaign destination for presidential candidates in previous elections. So, with President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden both on the campaign trail the week before the election, some voters are wondering, why the lack of visits this time around?
UW-Eau Claire political science professor Geoff Peterson said it's because of a couple of different factors.
The first is obvious: the COVID-19 pandemic. In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, many buildings have been closed off to events. This, along with gathering limits across the state, makes for a lack of rally locations.
The second reason: regional voter impacts. Peterson said in particular, the Biden-Harris campaign has been focusing its efforts on the Milwaukee area. Because of its larger African American population, there's a greater chance to boost that demographic's voter turnout rate, which is something that could tip Wisconsin in Biden's favor.
Finally, convenience is a factor when campaigns plan rallies and round tables. If Biden or Trump is in Rochester, they're more likely to visit La Crosse instead of Eau Claire.
Still, Peterson said this year is unlike any other for the Chippewa Valley.
"I think it's the uniqueness of this particular year," Peterson said. "I've been in Eau Claire since 2000, and this is the fewest times, fewest number of candidates we've had come through in the 20 years I've been here."
In 2016, Eau Claire hosted Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz all on the same weekend.