If Mickey Mouse was president of the United States would the world be a better place? The national anthem would no longer be “Oh say can you see…” but “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.”
Though Mickey was one of the write-in votes for president in The Bells’ recent straw poll, the Republican candidate actually won.
If the fate of the nation rested on the shoulders of the 690 UMHB students who participated in the campus unscientific presidential straw poll, Mitt Romney would be the 45th president of the United States. Romney beat President Barack Obama by 236 votes.
“Well, it’s not a surprise because it is a conservative school. And I would think that most people in the school would vote for Romney,” senior English major Courtney Kirk said. She is a Democrat who supports Obama.
“But one of the things that surprises me, since this is a conservative and Christian school, is some people don’t check facts. Mitt Romney builds his stance on lies, and that’s not Christian-like. A lot of people are not informed, so they just rely on what someone said instead of checking the facts.”
Junior Christian studies major Laura Phipps explained that Obama had the vote of the younger generation at one point, but that has now changed.
“I definitely think that if you were to ask our campus a couple years ago, it would have been strongly in favor of Obama. But after the last couple of years, and different things that the administration has done, and how the economy has affected college students, I’m not surprised Romney won (the straw poll),” she said.
Students in more than 15 majors participated in the presidential poll. After selecting their candidate, they were presented with 11 issues and asked to choose the top three that were most important to them in the election. The U.S. economy was the number one issue while health care, national debt and the unemployment rate came in second, third and fourth.
Phipps hopes the former Massachusetts governor will bring different ideas that will fix the nation’s growing economic problems.
“I think a new administration is needed. I think that Mitt Romney would be able to give us some fresh innovation and incentive on the unemployment and economy so there is hope for our generation, and there are jobs waiting for us, and we can improve unemployment,” she said.
Kirk supports Obama’s campaign to jump start the economy and ensure health care is provided for everyone.
“I feel that Obama has tried to do a lot of things, but he’s being knocked down constantly. Then people like to blame him when things don’t happen,” she said.
Kirk, a non-traditional student, explained how some of her younger peers may have a hard time understanding Obama because they have never born the responsibilities and problems of adulthood.
“How many of these students have really been exposed to these issues? How often does it hit home for them?” she said.
But for some students, this election is primarily about ensuring that the problems of today do not hinder the generation of tomorrow.
After graduating, many students plan to have a family, buy a home and use their degree to establish a career. The American dream. But the worse the economy is, the more difficult this dream will be to obtain.
Despite the nation’s slow economic rebound, students are still concerned about what the future holds.
And it is possible students may find themselves without a career if the unemployment rate, which is at a slow decline, does not stop haunting this country.
Health care was second in the poll results and is a complicated topic for sophomore nursing major Deanna Dawdy. She leans toward Romney and his conservative views but sees the good in Obama’s stance.
“I’m for Obamacare because I didn’t have health care at a certain time. It was hard to get it, and it was very expensive,” she said. “But I’m a nursing major, so with Obamacare I feel like I would be limited on what I can do and how I will be perceived.”
Dawdy explained that whether voters are undecided, as she is, or conservative like Phipps, or liberal like Kirk, they should make their own decision and not be influenced by what others say and do.
“People should decide on what they have learned. They should do the research, and they should choose a side,” she said. “You might have the same ideals and values as a person, but you can’t let other people influence you. Go with what you feel and what you believe in and not what other people tell you to believe.”