Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Wednesday to campaign for Democratic candidates and speak with hundreds of students about voter turnout in the upcoming midterm elections.
Gov. Tony Evers, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Attorney General Josh Kaul and other Wisconsin Democrats also attended the rally hosted by Democratic party grassroots organizers. Each speaker at the rally underscored the significance of Democratic Party policies and how they benefited students in Madison.
Warren addressed the nationwide power Wisconsin elections hold as she listed the stakes of the upcoming election, which include voter rights and security in order to maintain the democratic process.
“As you mark your ballot for the senate, the governor, for attorney general, all the way up and down this ballot, you may determine an outcome for our nation for years to come,” Warren said.
Both Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate and Governor races are rated as a “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report, placing them among the most competitive in the nation.
Youth voters are especially powerful in Wisconsin, according to a recent Tufts analysis that calculated where youth voters are most likely to sway election outcome nationwide. The analysis found Wisconsin has the No. 1 gubernatorial race and No. 5 U.S. Senate race where youth voters are most likely to make an impact.
Congressional Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents District 2, which houses the UW-Madison campus, opened the event by addressing Democratic plans to relieve student debt and make college more affordable.
“We need to make sure we are supporting the party that is listening to and supporting students right here in Madison, and that's the Democrats,” Pocan said.
Evers and Baldwin highlighted similar policies and took strong stances in support of reproductive freedoms, climate activism and voter protection.
Evers directly attacked his Republican opponent Tim Michels for “extreme" views on contraceptive access and criminalization of abortion with no exception for rape or incest.
“I believe that women have that right and they shouldn’t have to check with Tim Michels first,” Evers said.
Baldwin spoke against incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who has similarly supported anti-abortion bills. She called on voters to support Mandela Barnes, the Democratic Senate candidate.
The rally ended with a community walk to Memorial Union for early absentee voting.
McKenna Peternel, a UW-Madison freshman student attending the events, said she was voting to protect her reproductive rights. Peternel thought her peers should do the same.
“My rights as a woman are at stake and the rights of future generations of women are at stake, so it is important to be active and understand your representatives,” Peternel said. “We have a right to be heard.”
Warren wrapped up her speech by calling on the students in attendance to not only vote but encourage others to do so as well.
“This is a fight, this is a big fight, a monumental fight for the future of Wisconsin and the future of our nation,” Warren said. “Mandela, Tony and Josh are our last line of defense. Wisconsin, America turns to you.”
Wisconsin’s midterm elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 8. UW-Madison students can vote early at either Memorial Union or Union South on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, Nov. 4.