First lady Michelle Obama made her pitch to college students in Madison Tuesday, telling them to vote for Democrat Mary Burke in the upcoming governor’s race.

“For young people, more than anyone else, this election is about you,” Obama told the crowd at the Overture Center.

Obama dismissed the notion among some young voters who think elections don’t matter and politics don’t make a difference, pointing to the youth vote swinging the election in President Barack Obama’s favor during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

She encouraged college students to tell their friends to vote, referencing the tight governor’s race in 2010, which Gov. Scott Walker won by about 62,000 votes — or 10 votes per wards.

“You all know 10 people that you met at the party last Saturday … after you spent all day in the library studying,” Obama said. “Think of it like that, it takes 10 more people to change the course of an election.”

Obama said no one is “more passionate, more effective and more committed” than Burke on job creation and the state’s economy.

Joey Reuteman/The Badger Herald

“If you think people who work 40 to 50 hours a week shouldn’t have to live in poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth, if you want women’s bosses making decisions about their birth control, if you think every person in this country should have the chance to go to college and make a life for themselves, I want everyone to know they need to step up and vote in November,” Obama said.

Burke, meanwhile, said Wisconsinites need a governor who puts good policy above partisan politics.

“Wisconsin has what it takes to have a thriving economy,” Burke said. “But we need new leadership. We can do better. A lot better. We deserve a governor who believes in bringing people together, finding the common ground and focusing on what works.”

The visit marked Obama’s second stop in Wisconsin for the gubernatorial elections. She was in Milwaukee last week as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stumped for Walker in western Wisconsin.

Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Joe Fadness called Obama’s second stop in the state a “do-over,” referencing several negative headlines from the Milwaukee event.

Fadness noted a family thought Burke staff mistreated disabled attendees in Milwaukee, as well played the song “Forever” by Chris Brown, who’s been convicted of domestic violence. 

“This do-over event does not change the fact that Burke shares the same failed policies as Barack Obama, which have hurt Wisconsin families and taken us down the wrong path,” Fadness said in a statement. “Wisconsin deserves better than the broken Burke-Obama agenda and a campaign filled with copy-and-paste ideas.”

Jessica Franco-Morales, a University of Wisconsin sophomore who attended the event, said students should take advantage of the free voter IDs UW is offering.

Franco-Morales, who’s also an Associated Students of Madison representative, said she plans on voting for Burke in November.

“I can tell that Mary genuinely cares about students and the people she represents, and her track record shows that,” Franco-Morales said.

Walker and Burke face off in higher education debate With the most recent Marquette Law School poll showing the gubernatorial race in a dead heat, the two candidates’ views Read…

Last week’s Marquette Law School Poll found 50 percent of likely voters supporting Walker, while 45 percent supported Burke. The poll’s likely voter sample had a plus or minus 4.1 percent margin of error.

The election is Nov. 4.