With less than a month before
Election Day, both presidential candidates are making their final push to sway
to a CNN report of polls released on October 9th, which averages three
non-partisan live-operator surveys, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney
holds the support of 48 percent of likely voters, while President Barack Obama
is at 47 percent. The margin between the two candidates is within the range of
the average sampling error of the three surveys taken.
The neck-in-neck race has both candidates vying for student votes, a
demographic which, according to the Center for Information and Research on
Civil Learning and Engagement, has participated in higher numbers for
presidential elections. Participation reached a sixteen-year high in 2008 with
51.1 percent of citizens aged 18-29 casting a vote.
In a March statement by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the total
outstanding student debt in America reached one trillion dollars. With rising
tuition costs and a weak economy, student issues such as the average student
debt burden is coming to the forefront of both President Obama’s and presidential
candidate Romney’s campaigns.
Touching on both the Republican and Democratic party platforms, President Obama
released an advertisement called “The Choice” last summer highlighting the
ideological differences voters have to choose from this coming November.
President Obama has said that President Bush-era tax cuts would stay in place
for all but the top two percent of Americans while keeping social programs
funded. The theme of “choice” seems to be integral for both candidates, with
former Massachusetts Governor Romney vying for 20 percent lower taxes to all
Americans coupled with cuts to social programs and less government regulation
in order to spark a still-sluggish economy to faster recovery.
the race is almost certain to stay close until Election Day, partisanship and
the polarization of voters is becoming more prominent. The side-effects can be
felt even in Stevens Point, as Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and President Obama
political signs have been vandalized around the city.
September 20th the Stevens Point Journal published a letter to the editor
written by Kent D. Hall, coordinator of political sign placement in Portage
County. Hall wrote that the pattern of sign vandalism around Stevens Point
hints at a “well organized, illegal effort.”
Student Vote Coalition (SVC), a non-partisan student organization at UWSP, is
assisting students in the voting process. The SVC is helping students register
to vote, make it to the polls and become educated voters versed in the
discussion on policies, issues and the structure and function of government.
SVC is currently hosting open voter registration in the Dreyfus University
Center (DUC) Monday through Friday from 10 am until 2 pm. Students interested
in registering must provide valid identification or their Social Security
number. Open voter registration ends October 17th. After that, students will
need to provide proof of residence.
SVC is hoping to register 80 percent of the student body. Around 700 students
are registered as of mid- September. The SVC is also hosting voter education
events on campus, including screenings of the two remaining debates on October
16th and 22nd at 8:00 pm in the DUC Theater.
Anyone looking for more information or to volunteer for
the SVC can contact SVC Deputy Director David Boardman at dboar796@uwsp. edu or