Turnout on UW campuses may be key in close legislative races

As Democrat Jonathon Hansen gears up for a tight election in northeastern Wisconsin’s 30th Senate District, student turnout at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay may play a pivotal role.

Hansen’s uncle won the now-open seat in the traditionally conservative area by just 2.6 percentage points in 2016. Four years later, while Republicans target the district as one of three potential pickup opportunities in the Senate, Hansen anticipates the college vote “could swing it one way or the other.”

“I think the degree to which young people vote could make a difference, especially in these races that are tight,” said the De Pere alder, who’s facing Republican attorney Eric Wimberger in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Dave Hansen after 19 years in the Legislature.

As Nov. 3 looms, student turnout in mid-sized cities across Wisconsin such as Green Bay and La Crosse could sway the outcomes of potentially competitive legislative districts. But with fewer students living on campuses and ongoing challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s more difficult than ever for campaigns and organizers to reach those potential voters.

Source: The Journal Times, Nov. 1