Thirteen hours before polls opened in Michigan, one of Michigan State University's most well-known alumna returned to campus — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Whitmer, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU in 1993, hosted her final campaign event of the 2022 midterm election cycle on campus Monday night near The Rock on Farm Lane. She was joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and other high-profile Democratic elected officials.
Whitmer’s visit to campus capped off several months of an intense campaign for reelection against Republican challenger Tudor Dixon. Speakers stressed the importance of college students turning out to vote and said that state and local elections could rest in the hands of MSU students.
“Tomorrow is the most important game day of the year, where we all have an opportunity to play our part to make sure that the state of Michigan and the United States of America continues to move forward,” Gilchrist said.
In her remarks to the crowd, Whitmer focused on achievements from her first term in office like job growth and education funding.
“This is about fundamental rights,” Whitmer said. “This is about protecting the climate so that you can live long, healthy lives in this state. This is about good paying jobs so you can live your dream right here in Michigan.”
Whitmer’s lead over Dixon has narrowed to around nine points, with 52 percent of responses favoring the governor and 43 percent supporting Dixon, according to the final round of Detroit News-WDIV TV polling conducted before Tuesday.
Whitmer said she’s hoping for a strong turnout on Election Day regardless of her performance in opinion polling.
“Who the governor is matters from the minute you turn on the tap water to brush your teeth, to the roads you travel, to the job opportunities you have to make sure that this is a state that is doing our part to protect from climate change.”
Whitmer’s messaging was supported by other down-ballot Democrats, including Michigan Supreme Court candidates Richard Bernstein and Kyra Harris Bolden. Bolden told the crowd that how they voted on judicial candidates could affect the future of elections in Michigan.
“When you vote in November of 2022, I'm here to tell you you're not voting for November 2022,” Bolden said. “You are voting to set the stage and the circumstances for the 2024 election. That's why you're here.”
Bolden and Benson said that having Democrats elected to their offices would be a direct way to ensure fair elections going forward. Michigan is one of several states where many Republicans running for state office, including top-of-ticket candidates like Dixon, have claimed falsehoods regarding the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to the event’s “get out the vote” message, the speakers also addressed issues like abortion rights that are at the top of many voters’ minds heading into Election Day. Whitmer encouraged students to vote yes on Proposal 3 – the Reproductive Freedom for All proposal.
“This is simply codifying the rights we've had for 49 years, preserving the ability for women and girls to make their own decisions about their body and inherently personal and private decisions that can have profound impacts over the course of a lifetime,” Whitmer said.
She said between her connection to the school and the importance of the youth vote, MSU seemed like a natural place to host the final rally of her campaign.
Polls will close at 8 p.m on Tuesday for the midterm elections.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “ Michigan Democrats rally at MSU for final campaign event before Election Day” on social media.