The February 17 primary puts Wisconsin on par with some of the more well-known primary states, such as New Hampshire and Iowa.
UW Stevens Point political science professor Ed Miller says the state's voters will also make Wisconsin a key state for the election in November.
"It was considered a key state even though it doesn't have that many electoral votes," said Miller, "because of its close division between Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin."
Miller says with Portage County being heavily democrat, he expects to see several of the candidates make stops in the area before the primary.
One of Wisconsin's most prominent democrats says he isn't endorsing one candidate. He's leaving that up to the voters.
"I think it's kind of nice that we're gonna have an early primary. I get to make enough decisions," said Sen. Russ Feingold, (D) Wisconsin. "I'm looking forward to what the people of Wisconsin say. The Democrats at least say about who they want to run against George Bush."
Feingold says no matter who wins the primary. He will support them against President Bush in the November election.
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