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Presidential preference: SC students give nod to Hillary Clinton in election survey

By Gabby Guerard and Brandon Ouellette

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It is the most wonderful time of the year. Well, every four years to be exact. Whether it is the wild mudslinging, leaked videos, full-out social media brawls, or those lovely commercials that seem to appear more often than the program we wanted to watch, there is absolutely nothing like presidential election time.

As far as the entertainment factor is concerned, the 2016 presidential election certainly didn’t disappoint, as candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to perform various tactics to ruin their opponent’s reputation while trying to build up their own.

With the hourglass of the election approaching the final grain of sand, just where does Springfield College stand with this debacle of an election?

A small group of students at Springfield College went on a mission to assess two main topics: the likelihood of voting and the candidate of choice. The survey was randomly distributed to 224 students, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students at Cheney in late October.

The survey indicated that 38. 8 percent (87) definitely planned to vote, while 21. 4 percent (48) said they probably would, 10.7 percent (24) said they might, 15.2 percent (34) said they probably wouldn’t, and 13.8 percent (31) said they definitely wouldn’t.

Among possible voters, Hillary Clinton had the largest support with 40.6 percent (78), followed by Donald Trump with 30.7 percent (59), and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson with 5.2 percent (20). Additionally, 23.4 percent (45) did not define a candidate for whom they were likely to cast a ballot.

Senior Katie Benoit supports Clinton, because of her extensive political background.  Clinton’s prior political experience includes being a New York senator for eight years, as well as being the Secretary of State from 2009-2013.  

“I feel as if Trump is more of a business professional than someone suitable to be the president,” Benoit said.  “I feel like Hillary has had a lot more experience in the political field than Trump has.”

However, not all students agree with Benoit.

For some, Trump is revolutionizing the idea of who is qualified to run for president as a non-politician.

Freshman Bobby Bordieri supports Trump, primarily because he supports his policies on immigration control, reducing taxes for each social class, reducing the cost of college, and repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Bordieri is strongly opposed to Clinton being elected president because he believes “she’s basically a corporate sell out.”

While many have decided which of the two nominees would make a better president, some students are seeking an alternative.

Freshman Danielle Hoffner is part of the 5 percent of students who support Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, because she dislikes both Trump and Clinton.  

“Both main two politicians I don’t fully agree with or like,” Hoffner said.  

Hoffner’s concerns with the Republican nominee primarily revolve around his lack of consideration for others when speaking.  She even fears that he will offend other countries and their leaders, damaging the U.S.’s reputation.

Hoffner said, “I do not agree with how Trump behaves in public and how he treats women.”

Although she has a clear dislike for Trump, she does not support the Democratic nominee either.

“I feel like Hillary Clinton is a little too sketchy for me,” Hoffner said.

She’s not the only student who dislikes both candidates in the 2016 presidential election. In fact 29 percent, nearly one-third of the student body, is unlikely to vote.  The main reasons behind this are because they found the process for the absentee ballot confusing or they refuse to support any of the candidates.

“There are so many steps for the process,” said freshman Eric Trotman about the absentee ballot.  “I wish college students could just submit a form online instead.”

“I don’t want to be held responsible,” said another Springfield College freshman about why he will not vote in this election.  “It’s impossible to know what each of these candidates could do when one of them is elected as the president.  I don’t want to look back and be ashamed, knowing that I helped support them, if they make a decision I strongly disagree with.”

Since many students are unhappy with the qualities of the candidates, it raises another question: What qualities would students like to see in the next president of the United States?

“I think the best president for our country would be someone that will work to help our country create more jobs, address the problems with racism, which are more apparent than they have been in a long time, and promote peace and strengthening relationships with foreign nations,” said Benoit.

Many people don’t realize how large of a role students play in the voting process.

Young adults between the ages of 18-29 make up about one-fifth of the eligible voting population in the United States.  Voters within this age range also report that social media is the most helpful means of learning new things about politics.  Given the uproar on social media, students have been actively gaining insight about the candidates.  

The Springfield College student body is part of a large category of voters across the nation. With the election fast approaching, it is only a matter of time before the United States’ history is changed forever.

Reporting by Helen Lucas and Gavin Simpson also contributed to this story.

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