As the final stretch of the 2020 election season comes to a close, Democratic and Republican students alike are facing the same question: Who will be president after Nov. 3?
Though a number of current polls show President Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden, polls have been quite inaccurate in past elections and several states that are crucial to a presidential win remain toss-ups.
Within the Miami University student body, two prominent groups on campus have been watching the upcoming elections particularly closely: College Democrats (Dems) and College Republicans (CRs).
“I hope that, regardless of who wins, we’re going to keep doing a lot of the same things we’ve been doing,” said Caroline Roethlisberger, a senior journalism and political science student who serves as president of Dems.
“This last year, we’ve really tried to have a presence on campus that we haven’t had before and to keep people educated,” Roethlisberger said. “Because whether or not it’s an election year these issues are still important.”
With nearly 400 students involved as members of Dems, enrollment within the group has seen a spike within the past few months.
“I just hope that we keep our members engaged and connected with one another,” Roethlisberger said. “Our membership kind of tends to ebb and flow during election years, with this obviously being a very highly contested election.”
Looking at the future for a relationship between Dems and CRs following the election, Roethlisberger doesn’t expect much to change.
“College Dems and College Republicans have always had an antagonistic relationship, and I’m not really sure that’s changed because of this election,” Roethlisberger said. “But I hope that we can foster a conversation in the future — that diversity of opinion on campus is really important.”
Both Dems and CRs, as well as Young Democratic Socialists of America (YSDA), recently participated in a virtual debate regarding their party’s presidential candidates.
Taylor Armstrong, a junior political science student who serves as chairman of CRs, thinks the organization will be fine regardless of who wins.
“A lot of questions are going to be answered [after Election Day] about what direction the party should go,” Armstrong said. “We’ve got factions within the club who think that Donald Trump is not the candidate we should be following, and some who think that we’re gonna be just fine with him.”
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Similar to Dems, CRs have also seen an uptick in membership in the months prior to the 2020 election.
“I think the future looks very bright for us,” Armstrong said. “Every year, we’ve broken records in terms of freshman recruitment”
Armstrong also hopes Miami students can continue to foster discussion around political issues, regardless of party affiliation.
“My personal philosophy has always been to be open to our peers, whether that means crossing the aisle or not,” Armstrong said. “At the end of the day, I’m willing to work with anybody who comes forward, and I hope we’ve made that very clear.”