Presidential Election and Students’ Choice

By Douglas Farra

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are battling it out in the next month to win this election. Each candidate hopes to secure votes around the country, including student voters here at the College of Southern Nevada.

According to a student survey of 50 students at CSN, a majority of students are planning on voting in the upcoming election (Figure 1).

College of Southern Nevada

Figure 1

The survey also had a series of questions to find out their opinions and what they expected to hear during the first presidential debate on October 3. The main topics discussed in these interviews included: whether or not they will vote, who they will vote for, and if the debate could possibly sway their votes in November.

Currently it is Obama who the students favor in the upcoming election, as shown in Figure 2.

College of Southern Nevada

Figure 2

Janna Brooks, a computer office technology student at CSN, discussed what she thought to be the most important topics. “Jobs here, bringing them back here to the U.S. as opposed to overseas, and taxes.” Brooks is a supporter of the Obama campaign and when asked if she would consider changing her vote after watching the debate she stated, “I don’t think so, he [Obama] hasn’t had adequate time to clean up the mess from Bush and implement his strategies.”

Romney came in second place according to the student choice poll, but some students felt passionately about picking Romney. “It’s time for someone else to take over, Obama’s not doing his job,” said Siobhan Olsen, when asked who she would choose for president.

Several students felt the entire process and the debates were just a waste of time. Robert Yates, who majors in computer science, believes that the candidates will just be, “Pandering to the public to get votes. They’re just going to tell people what they want to hear.” Yates continued by saying the debates are, “Just words, I go by actions.”

Some students follow their parent’s politics. When asked who she favors, Elizabeth Dravis said, “I usually listen to my mom.”

Another trend seemed to be that students are not fully informed about the presidential candidates or their platforms, even though they know who they would vote for. When asked what they expected to hear from the candidates during the debates on domestic policy, a majority of students claimed they didn’t know (Figure 3).

College of Southern Nevada

Figure 3

The students that were informed about the issues felt that healthcare, jobs, taxes and the economy were the main issues that would be focused on. Other students felt that the issues should include: immigration, education and college loans.

When asked if they might change their votes after watching the first debate, many students said they would not be changing their votes, while others said they would give it some thought, but it was highly unlikely (Figure 4).

College of Southern Nevada

Figure 4

There is a lot of speculation and doubt. There are also a large number of party loyalist too. In the end, the two things that most students had in common were: they will watch the debate (Figure 5) and they are going to vote.

College of Southern Nevada

Figure 5

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