It also occurred a week before Republicans descend on Milwaukee for the party’s first presidential debate. The president’s stop in Wisconsin comes shortly before Republicans hold their first presidential primary debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23. Former President Donald Trump — the leading Republican candidate in polls — has yet to say whether he will boycott or hold a competing event. Republicans, though, will compete aggressively in the state, selecting Milwaukee as the site of its 2024 national nominating convention. “What he really needs to do is get independents in the state to like him a bit better,” Franklin said.