What Marquette students care about

The 2020 presidential election is now one week away, and as this historical election makes its way to its way to the finish line, Marquette students voiced their opinions on what issues matter most to them.

Charles Franklin, a professor of law and public policy and director of the Marquette Law poll, said that young people in this election agree on certain issues; mostly all voters ages 18-29 are opposed to limiting illegal immigration, requiring 12-weeks paid maternity leave and opposing raising tariffs on exports among others.

Franklin also said Wisconsin is vital to the presidency in this year’s election. According to the most recent Marquette Law poll, Biden leads Wisconsin by five points. 
“Wisconsin is very important — we are near the tipping point in the Electoral College. If the race is fairly close we will be very near the tipping point,” Franklin said in an email.
As for issues among young people, Miranda Spindt, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, chairperson for Young Americans for Freedom and secretary for College Republicans, said that the economy is one of the items at the top of her list.
Young Americans for Freedom is a nonpartisan conservative-minded student group that advocates for right-wing thinking among young people.
“That’s the only issue in this election that is drastically going to change depending on who wins,” Spindt said. “I feel like the economy would really change.”
Spindt said she thinks the economy has done well in the past four years and expects the third economic quarter for the United States to be a good one.
According to an article from Fortune.com,  experts say the third quarter for the United States, which will be officially released days before election day, is expected to make a rebound. However, due to the pandemic, 2020 is still expected to be a down year for the economy regardless.
“I don’t think (the economy now) would be any different if anyone else were in office,” Spindt said.

But aside from partisan issues, Spindt also said there’s another issue in our nation: the political split that currently divides Americans, their political party.

“The thing I think about a lot is … that our country obviously has problems and there’s tons of social unrest and divisiveness and it’s hard, it’s sad,” Spindt said.

Spindt said that people’s political views now split our country more than ever, and that politics are starting to matter over personalities in terms of friendships.

Eric Rorholm, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and chairperson for Marquette Democrats, said health care is an important issue on the docket for him.

“It strikes me as disgusting — especially during the time of a pandemic — that the thought of getting ill … the first thing I think about is not the pain, illness or healing, it’s the debt,” Rorholm said. “Cost is a barrier for people to receive the medical help they need.”

The average cost of a medical visit without insurance in America can range anywhere between $300-600, and according to healthcare.gov, a three-day hospital stay can cost upwards of $30,000. 20% of those with COVID-19 require hospital care.

“It’s one of those things you don’t think about until it’s really crucial, and the fact that people, based on whether or not they slip on a wet floor … can be facing large amounts of money in medical debt,” Rorholm said.

As for the direction for the country is going in, Rorholm said the United States is heading in the wrong direction. He said current crises and capitalism have tainted the United States’ way of thinking and has shut down the working class’s needs.

“It’s wrong that we’ve decided to shut working people down in the name of the almighty dollar,” Rorholm said. “We’ve created an economy that is very responsive to the needs of … corporations.”

The 2020 presidential election is Nov. 3. Voters can mail in ballots early by requesting an absentee ballot or vote in person by finding a their designated polling place.

This story was written by Benjamin Wells. He can be reached at benjamin.wells@marquette.edu.