Campus has Perry taking presidency
Would you vote for Jesus if he were a Democrat? What if he were a Republican? In a recent Bells straw poll there were two write-in votes for Jesus — one listing him as a Democrat and the other indicating he is a Republican.
In the non-scientific poll that sought to provide a snapshot of what students are thinking, The Bells surveyed 475 students, asking them to choose their presidential candidate and also three significant social or political issues that would affect their decision in the 2012 election.
With 43 percent of the votes, Texas Governor Rick Perry was the top choice. Coming in at second with 22 percent of student support was President Barack Obama.
The national polls vary from the campus poll. When polled against Obama, Perry was behind him by nine points according to an AP survey. But according to national Republican candidate polls, Perry lags significantly behind the two front runners Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Much as it was during the 1992 election, the chief issue in this election is the economy. The stakes are much higher now. In the ‘90s, unemployment was just over six percent and not on the verge of double digits as it is today.
Another economic issue is the national debt. In 1992 it was just above $4 trillion. Today it is more than triple that amount at $14 trillion.
Many students think Rick Perry will be able to improve the economy because he has handled Texas well by creating jobs.
Junior studio art major Kate Winchell said, “I would support Rick Perry because of what I have seen him do in Texas with the economy. Moving from California to Texas was a huge eye-opener with jobs. Now that Obama is bringing the troops back, I feel that Rick Perry would be a good follow up.”
Some students think Obama could benefit the country with another four years in office.
Freshman sport management major Diop Johnson said, “I support Barack Obama because I feel that when he was elected in 2008, he put together some reforms in the economic system that are going to take at least eight years to develop.”
Herman Cain currently leads in the Republican national polls, but on campus he only has seven percent support. Sophomore chemistry major Jason Aleman has been keeping up with the Republican debates on television.
He said, “I am leaning more towards Herman Cain because I have noticed during the debates when someone points out when he is wrong, he admits to his mistake. He says he must have spoken out of error while the other candidates just try to bring each other down with fighting.”
Healthcare was the second most common issue, perhaps due in no small part to UMHB’s extensive nursing program.
Freshman nursing major Jessica Walker said, “I don’t support Obama’s plan. I think we need universal healthcare, but I don’t think we need that. I like what Germany and England are doing. I think we should try to mimic them, but we don’t really have the finances to.”
Abortion was an issue that garnered some support, possibly due to the conservative atmosphere on campus, although only 12 percent of students chose it as an issue of high importance.
Senior nursing major Eva Dedow said, “In the constitution it says the three basic rights are ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Life is the first one, and I believe that we all have the right to life. I feel that it is my duty to support the unborn because they cannot even support themselves.”
Because it is still early in the election cycle, poll numbers fluctuate. In 48 days, Perry dropped 21.3 points, while in that same time Cain rose by 20.8 points. By the time of the presidential nomination, they will have likely shifted several more times.
As the situation abroad becomes more tense and the economy becomes more uncertain, this election may turn out to be more important than the 2008 election.
Underclassmen and other first-time voters are excited for their first presidential election.
Sophomore nursing major Ashton Ellegood said, “As citizens of the U.S. it is our responsibility to vote because if we are going to have an opinion about politics, we need to take part in the election. Being of age, I am excited to take part in the process.”