2 months out, is Wisconsin a battleground state in the presidential race?

A roll of "I voted" stickers.
A roll of "I voted" stickers. (WLUK/Andrew LaCombe)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- In the presidential race, political experts have called Wisconsin a battleground or swing state, even though its electoral votes haven't gone to a Republican since 1984.

But as the major party nominees spend their resources in other states, is Wisconsin a battleground state in 2016?

Since the major party presidential nominees were decided, Wisconsin's ten electoral votes haven't received much direct attention.

"If you look at the poll aggregators, Hillary Clinton has a pretty good lead in Wisconsin," said Aaron Weinschenk, a UW-Green Bay political science professor.

- Click here to look at polling sites: Real Clear Politics; FiveThirtyEight; Talking Points Memo

Clinton was scheduled to campaign in Green Bay in June with President Obama, but that stop was canceled after the Orlando night club shooting. She hasn't scheduled any more Wisconsin stops.

Donald Trump campaigned in Wisconsin twice in August. In Green Bay, he endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan. And near West Bend, Trump spoke about building safe cities.

Both Clinton and Trump lost Wisconsin's primaries in April.

On the airwaves, the only nominee to air TV ads in Wisconsin during the general election season is Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Republican strategist Mark Graul says everything could change quickly.

"Wisconsin is a tough state for Republicans to win. The last time it was truly a contested battleground state where both campaigns went all in on it was really 2004," said Graul.

He ran George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign in Wisconsin.

"In '08 and '12, I don't think we're seeing it too much different than that. Maybe we got a little bit more attention at that stage of the game than we are now," said Graul.

Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki says it isn't a surprise Wisconsin hasn't emerged as a top-tier battleground.

"I think Wisconsin is always going to be competitive at the presidential level, but it's not nearly as competitive as it is in other larger states," said Zepecki.

He worked on President Obama's re-election campaign in Wisconsin four years ago.

Weinschenk says the nominees could change their priorities after the first debate on Sept. 26.

"What happens in the debate could lead them to redirect their strategies and start focusing on certain states," he said.

Along with outside political groups, where are the nominees putting most of their attention right now?

Clinton is airing TV ads in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trump has run ads in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"We could still get back on that list," said Graul. "Come October we could be inundated with candidate visits and ads, it's just at this point they've got more important priorities that they're looking at. Both campaigns have a very active ongoing grassroots effort in this state. That hasn't slowed down, and I think it will keep ramping up."

Graul says campaigns watch internal polling to make many of their decisions.

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