Midterm Election: Local college students list the biggest issues that drove them to the polls

Early signs are showing young voters showed up to the polls in strong numbers this Midterm Election, giving Democrats a big boost.

FOX 29's Jennifer Lee surveyed students at Temple University who ranged in age from first-time voters who are 18 to seniors who are 21 years old.

"Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court earlier in the year, I think that was a huge issue. Not only for me, but also for everyone," said Shane Sullivan, a senior at Temple University. "It felt like for a lot of us abortion was on the line in Pennsylvania."

Other issues were also in focus, like gun violence and student debt relief. Young voters at Temple expressed how important it was for them to head to the polls and vote for candidates whose politics closely aligned with theirs.  

"It was really important for me to vote for John Fetterman," said Sarah Giulianti, another senior at Temple University. "His values align with my values, and it was important to me that we had a politician who had a big focus on a woman’s right to choose."


On Wednesday, President Joe Biden also acknowledged young voters during his first speech following the Midterms.

"They sent a clear message that they want to preserve their democracy. Young voters, voted in historic numbers again, just as they did two years ago," said President Biden.

Dr. Michael Sances, an associate professor of political science at Temple University, believes this midterm may be a similar turnout to the 2018 Midterms.

"That was, as we remember, one of the highest turnout Midterm Elections we had seen in many years. Even if we match that this year, that’s going to be a big deal," said Dr. Sances. "This could be kind of the new normal with youth turn out."

President Biden and former President Barack Obama stopped in at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Saturday to build support for John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro.

Lauren Jacob, the Vice President of the Temple College Democrats said the rally helped humanize the candidates.

"We were pushing voting very heavily here on campus, and I think that young people, right now especially, feel as though that this is the time to make a change," said Jacob. "Especially since more and more Gen-Z Will be able to vote by [the 2024 President Election], I think that it’s going to be a lot of young voters and they’re going to most likely vote very progressively. So, I think a blue wave is definitely going to come."

Bella Cormin is a member of the College Republicans at Penn and said abortion was an important issue for young conservative voters like herself.

"My biggest issue was I didn’t want an extreme candidate deciding on abortion issues," said Cormin. "I think our youth is so prevalent in our society and doesn’t get enough representation for us in Congress and even in State Legislatures.