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Republicans look to future

November 8, 2012

The results from the elections are in and President Barack Obama has defeated Governor Mitt Romney and has been re-elected to serve another four years.

While this may seem like a huge loss to Republicans, the College Republicans are looking toward the future and are excited about the conditions at the state level.

Many races were extremely close in this election, including the presidential race. While Obama did win with 303 electoral votes compared to Romney’s 206, the popular vote was much closer. Obama received 50 percent of the popular vote and Romney 48 percent, according to the Associated Press.

“For how close the popular vote is, there is an amazing gap in the electoral college,” said UW-River Falls student Daniel Peterson.

Peterson said that he believes neither of the candidates for president were really that good, but that it is really interesting how close the popular vote turned out.

Wisconsin went for Obama, and Democrat Tammy Baldwin won the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin as well. This may portray this state as a democratic state, however the State Senate and Assembly are both controlled by Republicans and Governor Scott Walker is a Republican as well.

UWRF Associate Professor of Political Science Neil Kraus said that even though people may have voted for Obama, it does not mean that they voted for all the Democrats at the state and local level as well, and that may be the case in Wisconsin.

“People are really looking more and more at the issues. They could have voted Obama as president and then chose Republicans for state and local races. It really isn’t straight ticket voting and party identification is not as strong.”

Kraus said that he was surprised by the victory of Baldwin as he thought Tommy Thompson was going to win. He believes that many other people may be surprised with the results as well.

UWRF student Amanda Jacobson is not surprised with the results; she is angry about them.
“I’m very unhappy with the results. I don’t even want to talk about it.”

Hannah Carlson, vice chair of the College Republicans knows that the result of the presidential election are frustrating and sad for the club, just like it is for Jacobson, and perhaps many other students in general. There is hope at the state level, however, and Carlson said that the College Republicans will embrace those victories.

“Obama won, but really he just scraped by and I believe there were a lot of social issues that people were passionate about and that had an impact on the vote,” said Carlson. “Now we are just looking forward to the 2016 elections and doing all that we can to help our senators and representatives at the state level.”

The local victories of Republican Sheila Harsdorf in Senate District 10 and Republican Dean Knudson in Assembly District 30 are something that the College Republicans are very pleased with. Carlson said that they will definitely support them and do what they can to help.

Kraus explained that even though Obama has been re-elected and the U.S. Senate is controlled by the Democrats, the House of Representatives is controlled by the Republicans.

He said that this is something that could be a problem for the president hoping to get approval on policies and that there is room for cooperation but that just might not happen.
UWRF student Patrick Jones said he believes that things need to change but unless there is some unification he does not think we can make too many positive changes. He said that people are always going to disagree.

“I guess that’s part of living in America though. It’s that right to disagree with someone else because you can.”

Despite the results, Carlson said that she is proud of the College Republicans and everything they did leading up to the election.

“It was a long process filled with phone calls, door knocking and side walk chalking, but we really pulled together and ultimately I’m just very pleased with the effort that was shown.”