Voting by issue matters – Loquitur

On Nov. 8, Pennsylvanians will go to the ballot boxes to vote in key elections for Pennsylvania. In particular, the Senate race between former Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz will be tightly contested.

Dr. Courtney Smith, professor and chair of the history and political science department, said, “It’s important for voters to know where candidates stand on various issues so that they can make informed judgments when they go to vote, either vote by mail or vote on Election Day. Getting informed about where candidates stand on various issues is critical to being an engaged member of American civic society and to effectively using your political voice.”

But where exactly do Oz and Fetterman stand on the central issues facing the United States?

In a Washington Post poll, 27% of voters believe the most important issue in this upcoming midterm election is the economy; the U.S. economy is still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Education, inflation, immigration, and abortion are other controversial issues steering voters. 

Digging into the issues

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman hopes to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate. Photo courtesy of Fetterman for PA.

“People are concerned that we may be headed into a recession if we’re not there already. So, there’s the concern about job losses. I see the economy as a pressing concern,” Smith said.

Fetterman said he wants to ensure that big companies and wealthy Americans are taxed fairly and that we build an economy that works for everyone. Oz, on the other hand, believes that fixing the economy begins with reversing “Biden’s failed agenda.”

Smith said, “I think many people are still upset about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. That may be driving some people’s voting preference come November”

Fetterman’s website says,  “A woman’s right to make health care decisions is sacred and non-negotiable.” As a senator, he promises to vote to ensure access to safe and legal abortion. Oz states on his website that he “knows how precious life is and is 100% Pro-Life.” 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman’s opponent for the Pennsylvania U.S. senate race. Photo courtesy of the Dr. Oz Campaign

Regarding education and schools, both Fetterman and Oz agree on some critical issues. They both believe we need to improve the public school system and make college more affordable to students. Fetterman specifically wants to make community colleges tuition-free and reduce the burden of student loan debt.

Immigration is another popular issue

Fetterman, whose Brazilian-born wife Gisele arrived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant at age seven, believes in building a safe and humane immigration system. He said he wants to work to modernize the U.S. visa system and asylum programs. He believes “immigration is what makes America, America.”

Oz’s website says that the solution to fixing the immigration system is securing the U.S. border with a physical wall, or patrolling borders using technological advances.

How students are approaching the election

Some students refer to their political parties and issues affecting them when voting. Students at Cabrini are no different.

“I used to vote by [political party] because I’m a Republican, but now I go off of track record and logistics,” Alex Perez, sophomore pre-med major, said. “There are a lot of candidates that preach to the choir instead actually doing what they promised.” 

Aaron Ellis, senior social work major, said, “I think I’m leaning toward Fetterman, mainly because I’m a Democrat but also because a lot of his views align with mine.” Ellis mentioned that Fetterman’s views on abortion were one of the issues he agreed with.

The Pennsylvania Midterm Elections will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Find out where to vote here.

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