CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin will have an opportunity to shine during the final night of the .
Baldwin, who is running for U.S. Senate against former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, is slated to speak at about 5:30 p.m. Central Time on Thursday. She originally had been scheduled to speak at about 7 p.m.
Wisconsin has become a key swing state during this election season. Baldwin hopes to win votes for President Barack Obama, in addition to gaining support for her Senate run.
“If this election is about who writes the rules and who benefits, there’s a clear choice in Wisconsin,” Baldwin told Wisconsin delegates at a breakfast Thursday morning.
Baldwin said she is ready to counter the message that fellow Wisconsin residents, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whom she called a friend and colleague, and Gov. Scott Walker presented during the Republican National Convention last week.
"Each of these individuals described a Wisconsin that is unfamiliar to me," Baldwin said. "I'm going to talk tonight about the Wisconsin I know. The heartland values that we embrace. The work ethic and the idea that if you work hard and play by the rules, that you should be able to get ahead."
Baldwin said playing by the rules currently is not working for many Wisconsonites and that it's not working for many American families. She is tired of conservatives who favor the wealthy.
"The Romney-Ryan Plan gives enormous tax breaks to those at the very top," Baldwin said. "The top one to two percent. And it pays for them by increasing the burden on hard-working middle class families."
Thompson campaign: 'More of the same'
In a statement issued before her speech, the Thompson campaign outlined issues it said she would not talk about in her address: the $16 trillion national debt, the increase in entitlements and falling family income in the face of rising costs.
"Baldwin's plan for the heartland is more of the same, not an opportunity for a new direction," said Thompson campaign manager Keith Gilkes. "We need to get our country working again, with real jobs-producing reforms like Tommy Thompson will once again push, rather than government-growing radical experiments like Baldwin is quick to embrace."
Delegates embrace Baldwin's message
However, Wisconsin delegates said Thursday they already know that Baldwin is a great advocate for their state and for the nation.
"Tammy Baldwin is wonderful," said Greendale resident Marlene Ott. "She is a champion of the 99 percent and somebody we can rely on."
Ott said as the November election draws near, delegates are learning just how important honesty is in politics.
Baldwin, who was raised by her grandparents, said she understands the importance of social programs.
"I got to see Medicare and Social Security up close. I don't view those programs as programs, I view them as a promise," Baldwin told delegates at the breakfast.
Ott said hearing a real-life story helps citizens to understand.
"From stories like Tammy's, you see how devastating the Republicans proposal would be to people," Ott said. "She's not just out there as a statement on paper, it had a real effect on her life. This is personal to her, not just ideological statement as part of a national platform."
Milwaukee County Democratic Chair Sachin Chheda said Medicare is a guarantee that every senior has earned and deserves.
"This is what has made our seniors economically secure," Chheda said.
Mayor Frances Huntley-Cooper of Fitchburg said that she is delighted to have Baldwin representing not only her, but her state.
"Other states don't know her like we do," Huntley Cooper said. "She is a fighter for us on issues that matter. She's bright, passionate, articulate and she always votes on the right side."
Huntley-Cooper said during this week, the DNC has worked very hard to tell the truth and, "Tammy does that very well."
Huntley-Cooper said that with just 20 percent of elected officials being women, it makes her proud to be associated with Baldwin, who also happens to share the same birthday.
Chheda said this week has been about celebrating the Democratic Party's platform.
"We support access to women's health and reproductive rights, we support marriage equality, we support smart strategy, we support benefits and respect for veterans when they return home," Chheda said. "Our public position and our platform are the same."
On the issue of marriage equality, Chheda said: "It shouldn't be a matter of who you love, but how hard you work."