Written by Kendra Lancaster
With the Presidential election just days away now, many Southwestern students and staff are ready to vote, if they have not already. But who are they going to vote for?
In a poll conducted by the Megaphone, it shows that Southwestern has a clear favoritism towards one candidate, and that is Barack Obama. Of the poll taken by 95 students and faculty, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama received an impressive 71.6 percent of the votes. The Republican candidate John McCain came in second receiving 18.9 percent of the votes. 5.3 percent of the participants are still undecided on whom they will vote for come Election Day.
The most important issue to the Southwestern community, voted through the poll, is the economy and taxes, which received the plurality of the votes, with a high 30.5 percent. The energy and oil problem came in second, with 12.6 percent of the votes; while both the environment and Healthcare received 11.6 percent.
Every person polled said that they have been following the election since the
campaigning first began. Almost two-thirds feel like they have been following the
election “very much” while the other third has only followed it “somewhat.”
Much of the community is very opinionated on how they feel about each candidate, and also the vice presidential candidates too. Many expressed concerns over Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The words “terrifying” and “scary” were used multiple times in describing her. Another participant believes that Palin being chosen “was a mockery of the system.”
One undecided voter says “I am a Republican. I like McCain, but not Palin. She is swinging my vote toward Obama.”
One participant explains why they do not believe in Palin, “She is completely inexperienced, has very little foreign policy knowledge, and was chosen completely as a sex appeal ploy.”
But not everybody thinks that Palin is destructive, though. One person said, “[She] is one of the most inspiring modern-day women and her tough tactics and captivating personality will greatly aid Senator McCain.”
McCain was the subject of much criticism in the poll. Several participants have
discussed apprehensions on McCain’s behaviors, and what could come from that. He has been referred as “volatile,” “reckless,” and “bull-headed.”
Others believe that McCain will not bring the change they want; “his policies are far too close to Bush’s to pull us out of the huge wad of mess we are currently in.” Yet there are some supporters of him, including one who feels “Senator McCain’s policies are level-headed and immediately applicable and will not lead to higher taxes.”
Even though Obama received the most votes in the poll, he was not immune from criticism himself. One McCain supporter cited Obama’s lack of experience as the reason they were not voting for him; “Obama seems like an empty suit. He simply does not have the legislative or leadership background to make me feel comfortable voting for him.”
Another student had other reasons for not voting for Obama; “I would’ve considered Obama more strongly if people hadn’t treated him like a God. It scares me to see how blindly people are following him. He’s human. I promise.”
But of course many people had many exceptional things to say about Obama. Simply stated, many feel as if he is “the hope for the future.” In a counter to the argument that Obama is lacking experience, one participant said on the subject, “Barack Obama might lack a little experience in some areas but makes up for it by surrounding himself with people who have experience where he lacks it.”
People seemed to be excited about an Obama administration because of the change they believe will come. “Obama’s campaign platform reflects my values and aspirations for the United States. I have great hope!”
No matter which candidate you prefer, the most important thing is to vote. Early voting in Texas is going through the end of October, and most states are already sending out absentee ballots. Regular voting will be taking place on November 4.