While university-based Republican clubs are gearing up watch parties for Tuesday evening’s postponed State of the Union address, their Democratic counterparts in South Florida are mostly sitting this one out.
Perhaps not surprisingly, each has different expectations of what President Donald Trump is going to say. Still, members of both groups say they are looking forward for the president to talk about the recent government shutdown, the funding of the wall and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
Micaela Stoner, president of the University of Miami’s College Republicans, said it’s important to get students excited about politics.
“Watch parties are one step of that,” said Stoner.
Wall funding, immigration, the government shutdown and Venezuela are issues Stoner expects to be addressed.
“Hopefully, he has a solution to the wall. It’s a huge issue,” she said. “We would like to see Trump create changes we can be proud of it the future.”
But Katherine Hornish, vice president of the school’s College Democrats, said she doesn’t expect much from the president in the speech. She added her group might hold a watch party, but as of Tuesday still had no firm plans.
“I don’t expect him to have definite solutions,” she said.
Still, she said she is looking forward to hearing Stacey Abrams provide the Democrats official response. Abrams, who will become the first black woman to deliver such a speech, narrowly lost her bid to be Georgia’s governor in November.
“It’s exciting to hear what she has to say,” said Hornish.
Steve Simeonidis, president of Miami-Dade Young Democrats, said his group won’t be hosting a watch party.
He said he hopes the president addresses the country’s humanitarian problems at the border and expects him to sidestep his role in the recent shutdown.
“I think it’s not in his best interest to highlight the magnitude the government shutdown had on its workers and contractors,” he said. “Many of which are still unpaid.”
Regarding Abrams historical moment, Simeonidis said “it’s a great step into the right direction.”
“I expect her to have a message of inclusion,” he said. “Celebrating our differences and working together.”
Miami-Dade College’s Young Republicans did not return a request for comment.
Florida International University’s College Democrats president, William Joel Bravo, said the group won’t be hosting a watch party. The school’s Republican group did not return a request for comment.
Reporters Humberto Mendez and Carla Palmer contributed to this report.