Casting Ballots

parties discuss the issues important to local voters

Theresa Schneider, photos by Andrea Paulseth

With the election countdown clocks slowly ticking away, Wisconsin will have an important role in the federal elections. As volunteers from each party hit the pavement harder than ever working to persuade voters, local representatives from each camp weigh in with how they think Wisconsin will swing.

Camp Democrat
    Eau Claire County Democrat Executive Board Chairwoman Katy Phillips said, although she never takes poll information at face value, she believes Wisconsin will be a blue state on Nov. 5. Phillips bases her speculation on her time spent talking with voters and listening to what Chippewa Valley community members are voicing as their concerns.

“I think people are finally seeing the light … after eight years of greed,” she said, adding that while the Eau Claire area hasn’t seen the effects of the housing crisis as strongly as in other areas of the country, she feels people are beginning to recognize that trickle down economics isn’t benefiting them.

The biggest issue voters are concerned with in this area, Phillips said, is the economy. Health care and energy are two other large issues on voters’ minds, but every issue comes back to economic concerns.

Funding for education k-12, job creation in the Valley, as well as generating new energy are also things many voters are aware of, but Phillips said she feels that most people are primarily focused on pressing economic issues and have to place other concerns on the back burner.

“People don’t have their basic needs met,” she said. “I think people are worries about making it to the end of the month.”

    Camp Republican
    Chairwoman of the Republican Party of Eau Claire County Laurie Forcier said that although polls currently show Senator Obama leading in voter support over Senator McCain, the results aren’t entirely accurate.