Students and swing states to decide next election
Nate Enwald
If there was ever a year for Wisconsin college students to step up and be sure to vote for who they want to be president, next year is it. With predictions of a close presidential race already being made by Gallup, Wisconsin will be one of the major battlegrounds.
Wisconsin is one of 12 "swing" states whose ultimate leaning towards Democrat or Republican will decide the fate of next year’s elections.

"Swing" states are political environments that show trends of majority voting either way, depending on the political climate, or are showing recent signs of political shift. Along with Wisconsin the rest are Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Public opinion of the government and the economy are at an all-time low, as Obama’s job approval is at only 43 percent, while only 25 percent of Americans think the economy is getting better. President Obama has his work cut out for him to be re-elected--recent polls by Gallup show that disenchanted voters are starting to think about switching to the other side of the red state/blue state fence.

"A really, really, really narrow sliver of people in a really small group of states will decide who is the next president of the United States," said Democratic strategist Steve McMahon.

Wisconsin is among these small pockets of voters, making UW students’ votes even more valuable than usual.

The way the voting system is set up isn’t directly based on popular opinion, but rather the fate of the nation is in the hands of the Electoral College, who have the American peoples’ trust to take popular opinion into consideration when making their decision.
Obama will likely start off the campaign race with roughly 196 electoral votes from solidly Democratic states while the Republican nominee with about 191 and a candidate needs 270 votes to win the race.

This means that the 12 swing states will receive a disproportionate amount of attention from the campaign managers. So Wisconsinites can expect to see a saturation of political ads in the media and an abundance of local organizations springing into action to sway public opinion.

With the burden on them to make the decision, Wisconsin voters along with the other 11 states will have a responsibility to take the next elections seriously and get everyone out of the house to vote.