Students reflect on final presidential duel
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 22:10
With the completion of the third and final presidential debate, most voters at Miami University have a good idea who they will be voting for come Nov. 6.
In an attempt to gauge the political atmosphere around campus, students in Miami’s Political Journalism capstone hosted a debate watch party Monday night. Students in the class each brought a guest to watch the debate and answer questions regarding comments each candidate made during the 90-minute finale.
The group consisted of: Jordan Hummel (senior, chemical engineering), Liz Chasky (senior, zoology and journalism), Jon Dierks (junior, finance), Hannah Thompson (junior, anthropology), Dejuan Rates (sophomore, mass communication and women’s studies), Michael Strong (junior, international studies and Chinese) and Emily Neltner (senior, early childhood education).
The group of viewers consisted of a mix of conservative, liberal and undecided voters. Immediately following the debate, when asked who won, most students responded President Barack Obama, two responded Republican candidate Mitt Romney and one thought it was even.
When asked what topics most interested the viewers, the current state of the economy and the budget deficit was a nearly unanimous choice.
Hummel was one student who voiced concerns about the nation’s spending.
“I think balancing the budget, as far as how we choose to balance it, is most important because it helps our credit, imports and exports with other countries,” Hummel said.
While the debate was centered on foreign policy, both candidates strayed off topic at times, bringing up domestic economic and education policies.
For Neltner, who is studying early childhood education and will be joining the education workforce in the near future, Obama’s statement of the importance of creating smaller classrooms rang true.
“I do think [small class sizes] are very important for teachers, because each child will be able to grow more in a smaller classroom setting,” Neltner said.
The two largest reactions from the group occurred at Obama’s mention there are fewer horses and bayonets in the military than in years past.
Viewers were also asked about the excitement surrounding this year in comparison to the historic race of 2008.
Thompson said she thought the 2008 election brought more excitement.
“From my perspective, I thought the last election [was more exciting] because it was such a big moment, determining we would make history or not electing the first African American president into office,” Thompson said.
Chasky said she agreed, but for her, it was more about the lack of excitement about the current race.
“I know at the beginning of the campaign, most people were saying they weren’t excited about either candidate,” Chasky said “They didn’t think either candidate was qualified enough to do a good job.”
As the night came to an end, viewers also sounded off on a few atypical questions about the candidates. All viewers agreed Obama would be the better neighbor or resident assistant, while Romney spent the most time practicing his smile.
And when asked who is most physically fit, Strong summed it up.
“Romney crunches numbers, Obama does crunches.”