Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch visited the University of Wisconsin College Republicans Tuesday to gain support for her upcoming campaign.
Throughout her talk, Kleefisch stressed the importance of the student support through social media, as they are “digital natives.”
“We are really going to need your help this year. Wisconsin elections are always a battle, and this year will be no different,” Kleefisch said. “We need you guys to educate because you’re really good at it.”
Kleefisch said that while the 48 to 48 percent split in polls is nothing new for Wisconsin, the upcoming election will be a fight for the middle four votes.
Voter turnout will be an important part of the 2018 election, as the recent Supreme Court race was lost after a severe lack of voter turnout from Republicans, Kleefisch said.
“We swore [lack of voter turnout] could never happen again, and yet we just had an election where it did,” Kleefisch said. “There were two candidates there, one woman said that she wanted to put her political priorities on the front burner, and the other guy ran on the basis of interpreting law without his political priorities. And he lost bad.”
Kleefisch also attributes the gap to the lack of knowledge voters have of what has been accomplished over the eight years she has been in office.
Kleefisch commented on her achievements in office including the lowered unemployment rate, the tax reforms for community members and the amount of aid going to schools around the state. Her next goal is to get more eligible workers in the Wisconsin workforce — workers who want to stay.
“Wisconsin is looking for long-term relationships with [employees],” Kleefisch said. “Unless we tackle the hard questions of today, we’re never going to find that long-term stability.”
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Kleefisch also stressed the importance of the affordable housing problem in Wisconsin. She says the next big challenges facing the government are how to make sure that homeless people are off the streets, and ensuring people don’t get evicted.
Finally, Kleefisch talked about her experience as a journalist and how she learned the importance of taking in different viewpoints. She advised the College Republicans to broaden their worldview by consuming media from both sides.
“If you’re getting your news from only conservative sites, you’ve limited your worldview,” Kleefisch said. “You’re here at UW to expand your worldview, and so are your peers. So, share with them your view. But to understand their viewpoint a little, I hope you are willing to expand your view too. If you’re only reading one side, you’re not collecting all the data you need. It gives you insight into how the other side thinks and helps facilitate discussion with others.”