Students react to nearing election
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
As the 2012 presidential election nears, students are making final decisions on which candidate they will vote for. Candidates’ views on the economy, job market and foreign policy have become significant factors for students voting.
Caitlin Maguire, marketing manager for Rock the Vote, said she believes this election is different from the previous election.
“2008 had a different vibe, both groups were looking for change,” Maguire said. “We were presented with two candidates with fresh ideas and new polices.”
Maguire said she believes the negativity surrounding President Barack Obama’s presidency might create an enthusiasm gap for voters, different than in 2008. She said while Obama may still have a significant portion of the youth vote, there has been a recent increase in new Republican voters, which could affect the outcome of the election.
Sophomore Pete Sarubbi, a political science major, said he thinks the election could go either way. He said both candidates have support from different areas of the country.
“I believe that [Republican Presidential Nominee] Mitt Romney has the momentum right now,” Sarubbi said. “However, I think that the Electoral College is favoring Obama.”
Sarubbi said he thinks support from Independent voters may be what decides this election. He said he was surprised by how often Romney agreed with Obama about foreign policy during the third debate, which he believes was Romney’s attempt to sway undecided voters.
Senior Megan Gerhart said despite the public’s negative opinion of Obama, she believes he will still win the election. She said she thinks his personality will be a significant factor when voters go to the polls next Tuesday.
“I think he has a good charisma and most of America likes charismatic presidents,” Gerhart said.
On the other hand, senior Tom McKenna said he thinks voters will consider a wide variety of issues and factors besides personality come Election Day. He said the most important issues to him are the state of the economy and what is happening within the country’s borders.
“I will primarily vote on domestic issues, as well as social and economic [ones],” McKenna said.
According to Sarubbi, the nation’s economy is still the number one issue on peoples’ minds. He said with such a high unemployment rate, each candidate’s plan to get people back to work will be crucial to the election.
While McKenna thinks older voters are more concerned with tax increases, while college students will be more focused on the economy due to uncertainty about employment opportunities.
Sarubbi said he thinks Obama is using the fact that students are concerned with jobs and student loan debt by attempting to win the votes of students through his plans for bolstering the economy. He said he noticed Obama spoke a lot about reducing the price of tuition during the debates, which may resonate with college students who are funding their own education.
According to Maguire, the uncertainty of the job market will cause young people to vote in large numbers this year. Like Sarubbi, Maguire said she believes this issue in itself will compel more college students to vote then most other demographics.