Trump or Hillary? What does WSU Vancouver think?

Magazines, news reports and social media have done their best to fill every particle of American air for the past year with the two major presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

As the election comes to a close and as voters make their decisions, we start to wonder what the political voice looks like closer to home. I interviewed a few students from Washington State University Vancouver to help gain a perspective on this.

For the past 28 years, the majority vote in Washington state gave the electoral win to the Democrats. The 2012 election had a 56.2% Democratic vote while the Republican number was 41.3%. Residents of Clark County who participated in the past election cast 57.89% of their votes towards Barack Obama, while 42.11% voted for Mitt Romney.

As the numbers show, the Washington state majority vote reflects the results we see at our county level, but do these numbers reflect the WSU Vancouver student preference for one the most controversial elections our nation has seen in decades?

I interviewed two different students to see what has influenced their political stances. The questions I asked were concerned with political parties, this particular election, candidates and the American dream.

The first student I interviewed, Tabitha Howell, is a freshman at WSU Vancouver, and this will be her first time voting. Howell said she has no particular party affiliation, but has followed the 2016 election through the presidential debates.

Howell said that the one question she would ask from both the candidates would be “how they feel about women’s rights.” This has been an extremely popular topic with Clinton’s campaign, with particular emphasis on closing the wage gap between men and women.

Howell also said, “I worry how this election in particular will affect our future generations.”

I asked Howell to describe the American Dream in three words, as I felt like this would get a sense on where students see the future of the country is headed. Howell said that the American Dream meant “freedom, equality and opportunity.”

The second student I interviewed was junior Grant Lindberg. I again tried to get a sense of party affiliation. Lindberg said he has no party affiliation at this time, but plans to vote soon.

Lindberg has not followed the election very closely, but still has a grasp of what each candidate stands for. Lindberg said if he could ask the candidates anything, it would be, “How do your ideals fit to improve the environment?”

The environment came up many times in the debates between Clinton and Trump. Lindberg said that his major concern with this election was that “The media focuses more on the candidate’s explosive personalities rather than their policies, I fear that people will vote based on what the media has reported to the public.”

He said that the media seems to capture headlines of candidates’ actions rather than what they are going to do for America. I also asked him to describe the American dream in three words, and he said “live to work.”

College students will have different responses across the board. This is the time when students start to gain a political stance of their own, so when these two students responded that they had no party affiliation it was not a surprise.

Nationally, more college students lean toward the Democratic Party than the Republican Party if they do pick a side.

Who will be sitting in the oval office next January? Some polls have predicted Washington’s results. Elway Poll has reported 48% of the state voting Democrat, 31% voting

Republican and 21% voting for a third party.

This is one of the few times in voting history that a third party has been a contender for a majority of the vote.

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