Student mobilization efforts leading up to midterm elections

Written by Michael Bullock

Political rallies throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area in the final days leading to the midterm election have helped energize and mobilize political candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. Candidates from each of the two main political parties, Republican and Democrat, spoke of solidarity and uniting around common legislative priorities and values.  
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a rally in Kansas City on Friday in a last-minute push to engage conservative voters in both Missouri and Kansas to support Senate candidate Josh Hawley in Missouri and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach in narrowly contested races in each state.
Get out the Vote rallies were held throughout college campuses in Central Missouri, including a Republican event headlined by President Donald Trump Thursday in Columbia, Missouri.  His visit to the region was part of an eight-state tour designed to help mobilize Republican turnout ahead of the midterm elections.
A voter education table in the Elliott Student Union from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday sponsored by UCM Students Demand Action mobilized students to vote and stressed the importance of the midterm elections.
“People tend to think that the midterm election is less important than the presidential election,” said Atsuki Mori, coordinator of the UCM Students Demand Action. “It is not true. Senators and congressmen are the ones who make the laws.”
Mori also spoke of the need to make our community safer, by sponsoring more candidates who are in support of safer gun control laws.
“University of Central Missouri College Republicans are making strides to secure a win for Josh Hawley, Dan Houx, and Vicky Hartzler,” said Justin Hall, vice president of the UCM College Republicans.
Brian “Bam” McClendon, Democratic candidate for Kansas secretary of state, told voters throughout a Get out the Vote campaign rally Friday in Lawrence, Kansas, to research each political candidate, not simply those at the top of the ticket.  
He also spoke of the importance for actively engaging friends and family who typically do not vote in midterm elections and the importance of reading the entire ballot, including any ballot initiatives and amendments.
“We need to show there is balance in this country and balance in this state,” McClendon said. “Think about the rest of ticket, choose the best person for the job that you can.  Research, read about every candidate, all the way down the ballot and figure out who makes sense to you.”
During this campaign rally members of the Kanas Democratic Party helped to motivate and inform young voters on the importance to vote in the Tuesday election and stressed the importance of getting their friends and family out to vote.  
Democratic strategies for organizing campaigns has mainly revolved around social media and leveraging a way to reach young voters in a way that is natural to them.  
“Young adults typically don’t watch local news, (they) rarely watch national news,” said Nick Hinman, Kansas Democratic Party. “They view most coverage of news events online, a lot of times from social feeds.”