UW-Milwaukee campus eager for Monday night's U.S. Senate debate

Posted at 9:10 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 22:25:44-04

The two candidates for U.S. Senate will debate Monday night on the campus of UW-Milwaukee. 

Incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin and challenger Leah Vukmir, a Republican State Senator, will debate at 6 p.m. at the school's Mainstage Theater. 

Mordecai Lee, a UW-Milwaukee professor and former Democrat state lawmaker, said it's likely both candidates will stay on message and emphasize the themes of their respective campaigns. 

"The thing that's most important in a debate is not to make a mistake - not to make a gaffe," Lee said. 

He said voters, especially undecided ones, tend to ramp up their interest in the election during the final month beforehand.

So Baldwin and Vukmir have a chance to make a big impression on Wisconsinites Monday night. 

"I suspect the audience tonight is going to be larger than average because it's the point where people are saying to themselves, 'Gee, I'm going to vote. I need to make up my mind,'" Lee said. 

Students at UW-Milwaukee said they're excited the candidates in a prominent, statewide race chose to debate on their campus. 

"I think it's cool. It's definitely a big thing that's going on," said student Anijah White. 

"I think it's great," said student Christian Gorecki. "I think a lot of people wouldn't know what each candidate believes in, if they didn't get to see them in a debate." 

Gorecki said he's searching for a principled candidate to vote for who will align with his values. 

"Do they abide by the constitution? Do they want to protect civil liberties? Do they want to keep government out of lives?" he said. 

White said she'd like to vote for a candidate who will represent Wisconsinites of all backgrounds and economic statuses. 

"I think a big thing is that someone in power is looking to help everyone, and stand up for everyone," she said. "Not just one demographic."