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DNC Moves Convention Online, Milwaukee Businesses Lose Out



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The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that the August convention where former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to accept his party’s nomination, is being moved mostly online and delegates should not plan to attend in person. For many businesses in the area, the decision means losing out on a highly profitable week they were banking on following COVID-19 lockdowns.

The New York Times, citing party officials, reported that the convention will be moved from  Milwaukee’s professional basketball arena. Moreover, state delegates will be asked to not travel to the event over health concerns.

The Wisconsin city will still be the base for much of the live streaming and virtual events. The host site was moved from the Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center.

“Milwaukee would anchor the events for the week,” the DNC press release says. “Programming would include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities.”

The release adds that Biden will still travel to Wisconsin and accept the title in person. “Vice President Biden intends to proudly accept his party’s nomination in Milwaukee and take the next step forward towards making Donald Trump a one-term president,” said Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.

The drastic decrease in expected guests means a lessened need for hotel rooms, meals, and shopping.

“John Vassallo, the owner of Mo’s, A place for Steaks and Mo’s Irish Pub was expecting a sell-out week during the convention and a busy few weeks leading up to it as guests arrived,” according to an interview by local station TMJ-4. “The scaled down convention now means less guests and all auxiliary events, including state delegation parties connected to the convention, have been canceled.”

Vassallo goes on to say that he lost several buyouts, and great amounts of walk-in traffic. “We were expecting the busiest year, busiest 30 days since 2008,” said Vassallo.

After weeks of closed inside seating and trying to survive on take-out orders, Milwaukee restaurants are struggling. In fact, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal is keeping a running list of Milwaukee restaurants that have had to close permanently. At the time of publishing, this list had ten restaurants closed forever.

As Democrats celebrate Biden in August, local businesses will see much less profit after months of struggling through lockdown orders.

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Gallup poll: Immigration surges to ‘most important problem’ among Americans



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In just the last month alone, Immigration has become the most important problem facing the United States to many Americans, surging from 20% to 28%. “Immigration has now passed the government as the most often cited problem, after the two issues tied for the top position the past two months. The government ranked first each month from January through November 2023″ reports Gallup.

In the latest poll, immigration surpasses all other issues as the most pressing issue (28%); 20% of Americans name the government as the most important problem, followed by the economy (12%) and inflation (11%). Immigration is the only issue that has shown meaningful change in the past month.

The latest results are based on a Feb. 1-20 Gallup survey. Immigration has ranked ahead of all other issues as the most important problem before, having last done so five years ago when there was a surge of attempted border crossings by Central American migrants. Immigration also ranked as the No. 1 problem in July and November 2018 and July 2014.

Gallup started compiling mentions of immigration in 1981. The 28% currently naming immigration as the most important problem essentially ties the 27% reading from July 2019 as the highest in Gallup’s trend.

The latest survey was conducted at a time when a bipartisan group of congressional senators reached an agreement on an immigration reform proposal. The bill ultimately failed to pass a Senate vote, but it faced an uncertain fate in the Republican-led House of Representatives even if it had passed. The House passed a tougher immigration bill in 2023 that the Democratic-led Senate has not taken up and President Joe Biden promised to veto.

The recent bipartisan negotiations took place in response to a record number of border crossings at the southern border in recent months, peaking at over 300,000 in December. An influx of migrants in U.S. cities has also stressed social services there.

Republicans typically are the subgroup most likely to name immigration as the most important problem, and they are largely responsible for the increase in mentions this month. Currently, 57% of Republicans, up from 37% in January, say immigration is the top problem. Independents show a modest uptick, from 16% in January to 22% now, while there has been no meaningful change among Democrats (9% in January and 10% in February).

Residents of the East (36%) and South (31%) are more likely to say immigration is the biggest U.S. problem than are those living in the Midwest (25%) and West (22%). Southern residents have typically been most likely to regard immigration as the top issue.

More See Illegal Immigration as a Critical U.S. Threat

A separate question in the survey finds a record-high 55% of U.S. adults, up eight points from last year, saying that “large numbers of immigrants entering the United States illegally” is a critical threat to U.S. vital interests. The prior high was 50% in 2004.

The vast majority of Republicans already believed illegal immigration was a critical threat; 84% said so a year ago, but the percentage has now reached 90%. A larger increase, from 40% to 54%, has been seen among independents. Far fewer Democrats view illegal immigration as a critical threat, but that percentage is up from 20% in 2023 to 29%.

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