Students lack interest in presidential campaign in comparison to 2008
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 22:09
Senior Joseph Karmondy said he thinks new voters will not impact the presidential election as much as they did four years ago because they do not have the same momentum.
He said many factors of the last election interested young voters, which the current presidential campaign lacks.
“There was a big swing in voting due to the idea of change, a black candidate, and other driving forces which got the younger generation involved a lot more,” Karmondy said. “I don't think that exists this election.”
According to a report released in July 2009 by the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 49 percent of voters aged 18 to 24 voted in the 2008 presidential election. Turnout among young black voters was 55 percent, which was 8 percent higher than in 2004.
Adjunct political science professor Christopher Counihan said more college students will vote this year than usual, but numbers will not surpass those of the last presidential election.
“I think although there’s still popularity for the president, the economic issues have gotten more difficult in the country,” Counihan said. “I think that there isn’t as much drive amongst the students to vote in larger numbers. There is more uncertainty and less involvement.”
He said that historically, economic issues are not as important for students as social issues. However, this year he said they may feel differently considering the difficulties of getting a job after graduation.
Counihan said the lack of involvement is partly due to the fact that political surveyors only call landlines, while many young voters mainly use cell phones.
“That really makes the age group of college students very under-represented,” he said.
According to The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagementanalysis of the Census Current Population survey conducted in the November 2008 election, young people who were contacted by an organization or campaign were more likely to vote as opposed to those who were not.
Junior Emily Genshaw said students are too immersed in technology that they forget about the world around them and ignore issues that matter.
She said those who do vote tend to vote for the popular candidate instead of looking into their beliefs and ideas. She thinks students have the potential to be mature enough to vote but said she is not sure if they are.
“People really vote off of peers and off of social media and not really off of the facts,” Genshaw said. “I think that a lot of people don’t really know what they are voting for.”