Iowa voters will decide Nov. 4 who will take the place of retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) of Waterloo and state Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) are vying for the empty seat.
Polls are showing Braley and Ernst in a virtual tie. The race figures to be close since Iowa is a state that has historically been fairly moderate.
Northwestern students are encouraged to stay informed and vote in November.
Iowa voter laws make the voting process for students convenient. Students can request for an absentee ballot to be sent to their mailbox at Northwestern. Then, after filling out the ballot, students can mail it back. Voting in Iowa is that simple.
For those still deciding who to vote for in Iowa’s U.S. senate race, here a look at where both candidates stand on issues:
Immigration reform: Ernst and Braley both support closed borders, but Braley supports an amnesty program and Ernst does not.
Affordable Care Act: Ernst thinks the whole program should be thrown out; Braley wants to keep it but fix the problems.
Abortion: Ernst is strongly pro-life, and Braley is avidly pro-choice.
Gun control: Braley is in favor of more gun control, and Ernst is not.
Same-sex marriage: Ernst wants to work toward banning it nationwide, and Braley wants to legalize it.
Minimum wage: One of Braley’s main campaign platforms has been raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Ernst thinks that control over minimum wage should be given to the individual states, because living costs are higher in each state. She has however said that should it remain a federal issue, she would not support a raise in minimum wage.
Stephen Dykstra, President of the Campus Democrats, supports Bruce Braley.
“Braley brings experience from multiple terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he is no foreigner to Washington politics,” Dykstra said.“The biggest draw for me is his willingness to work with the Affordable Care Act instead of constantly criticizing it and trying to retract what’s already been accomplished in Washington.”
Dykstra also thinks that the majority of Ernst’s proposed solutions to the main issues are impractical.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Shanell Nieuwendorp said that she would support Ernst.
“I highly respect Ernst’s service in the Iowa Army National Guard,” Nieuwendorp said. “I don’t appreciate the majority of Bruce Braley’s political positions.”
For busy college students at NW, the option to vote via absentee ballot is a great way for them to participate in elections away from home.