Political Ponderings

Student Republicans and Democrats agree — go vote

Toby Mohr

More stories from Toby Mohr

Political+Ponderings

The midterm election is only one week away with candidates for governor, Senate, House of Representatives and other state legislative offices on the ballot on Nov. 8.

Going into the final week of the race, UW-Eau Claire student Republicans and Democrats agree — go vote.

“Don’t just sit at home, let your voice be heard,” Miles Plueger, fifth-year public relations student and chair of the College Republicans student organization, said. 

Matthew Lehner, second-year political science student and president of College Democrats student organization, said, “this is the most important election of our lifetime.” 

Both student leaders said there is a lot at stake in this election but emphasized different reasons. Plueger said students should consider economic issues while Lehner emphasized abortion rights.

“We all feel the increase in prices,” Plueger said. “The economy is really hurting students and Americans in general.” 

Lehner emphasized abortion rights and social freedoms, calling the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June an overreach by the Supreme Court.

“This election fundamentally comes down to freedom of choice,” Lehner said. “Students should consider which party is going to protect their rights and protect their ability to live the life they want to live.” 

Plueger said the midterm election should serve as an evaluation of President Joe Biden’s term and the Democratic majority in Congress. 

“Students should be asking themselves, ‘do you think the country is going in the right direction?’” Plueger said. “If the answer is no, then we have a problem with how the current administration and how Congress is failing to represent us.”

Plueger said high gas prices and the rising cost of living show the country is heading in the wrong direction under Democrats and President Biden.

“Prices at the pump, the cost for groceries and other necessities are exponentially higher than they were a few years ago,” Plueger said. “Rising costs impact everybody.”

Plueger said he sees a lot of trickery and deception among Washington Democrats. 

“There’s a lot of dirty games and misrepresentation in Washington right now and it’s hurting Americans,” Plueger said.

Lehner said that Biden and Democrats in Congress are the only party taking action to lower rising costs.

“We are seeing higher costs, but the Democratic party is the only party that has put forward solutions to the cost of living crisis through the Inflation Reduction Act,” Lehner said.

Lehner said it is important to vote for Democrats at the federal level and in Wisconsin.

“If Republicans were to take majorities in the House and Senate and a supermajority in the state legislature, we would have a fundamentally different country and state that would hurt a lot of marginalized communities and be harmful to all our citizens,” Lehner said.

Lehner also said young voters can make a difference in this election.

“Gen Z is one of the most accepting and inclusive generations,” Lehner said. “I think the other side does not like the changes they are seeing in our generation. They don’t like that we want to move forward towards progress.”

Both student leaders said that with a high-stakes election like this, it is important for both sides to respect each other and respect the election results.

Plueger said he feels there is animosity on campus towards students with right-leaning views and he hopes students stay respectful with each other.

“As we go into this election, we need to be able to be civil and treat each other with respect,” Plueger said.

Lehner said win or lose, College Democrats will accept the results of the election.

“At the end of the day, we will accept the results of the election, learn from them and move forward,” Lehner said. “That is something Democrats and Republicans can unify on.”

Mohr can be reached at [email protected]