CHARLOTTE (WKOW) -- When President Barack Obama won Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008, the state had a Democratic Governor and two Democratic U.S. Senators.
But the pendulum has swung very far the other way since then, leaving state Democrats with their backs up against the wall.
As they rally in Charlotte, Democrats do so with the knowledge that Wisconsin's seats of political power are slipping out of their hands very quickly.
"And there's no question, in the last two years, the Republicans have made significant in-roads in Wisconsin," admitted Mayor Tom Barrett (D-Milwaukee).
With Sen. Herb Kohl's (D-Wisconsin) retirement at the end of the year, Rep. Tammy Baldwin is the last person standing in the way of a Wisconsin with a Republican Governor and two Republican U.S. Senators.
"I don't think about it in those terms at all, because, my campaign isn't about partisanship," said Rep. Baldwin (D-Madison), the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. "The goal isn't to have one party win, the goal is to do right by the hard working families of Wisconsin and for them to have a champion in the U.S. Senate."
While Congresswoman Baldwin tries keep the focus off of party dynamics, her potential successor in Wisconsin's second district, State Rep. Mark Pocan, is keenly aware of the importance of the outcome of both the senate and presidential races here.
He views the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity.
"If we can talk about the very positive aspects of the views of what the Democratic party's trying to do, versus kind of this Tea Party, Republican extremism, I think you're gonna find that the average Wisconsinite, who isn't a red or blue voter, is going to see that the Democratic message is a message that hits their values far more," said Rep. Mark Pocan.
"All the Republicans are offering, all they're offering are the same policies, the same disastrous economic policies into where it was four years ago," added Mayor Barrett.
But saying those words and selling them are two different things.
It's the second of those Democrats still have to work on.
"We've heard a lot from Wisconsinites at the Republican Convention. I'm gonna talk about the Wisconsin I know," said Rep. Baldwin.
Tammy Baldwin will get her chance to do that for Wisconsin Democrats in front of a nationwide prime-time audience here in Charlotte on Thursday night.
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