During the current Election year, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has gained popularity among college students across the country. With a new set of first time voters who want the chance to change things, Obama’s promise of change seems to be the answer. Some indications of Obama’s college following could be the number of supporters that he has on Facebook or elsewhere on the web. Compare that to the number of John McCain supporters on Facebook, and it may seem that Obama has the college demographic in his corner.Those numbers of course only reresent those students who are not only on Facebook, but who add themselves to a list of supporters. There are also the untold numbers of those not on Facebook or other such sites to begin with. Others using those sites may not openly show their support for Obama or McCain on their internet profiles. However, some students at WCU are choosing to vote for McCain over Obama based on concerns of personal and national matters.
As a history and professional/secondary education major, first-year Kimberly Reihing stated that she is a strong Republican. Although McCain was not her first choice for the party, Reihing had many things to say in support of McCain on multiple issues.
“McCain wants to pass a bill that would increase the amount of federal student loans & Pell grants, and also expanding the eligibility required to receive such aid,” Reihing said. Reihing added that the bill effects her quite personally as a middle class student.
Whether one is a McCain or an Obama supporter, the cost of higher education is something that many feel the pains from. As a result, college students and their parents have that in mind as a new president’s term draws nearer.
“I receive less opportunities for college than any other social class because upper class has more opportunities,” Reihing said. Opportunities that Reihing said included private high school versus public high school, resulting in more academic aid.
“I am not poor enough for need based aid and I don’t have the stronger academics for academic aid,” Reihing said, adding that it left her caught in the middle.
Another issue Reihing talked about was McCain’s plans for energy, the environment and the threat of Global Warming.
“McCain is a member of the Republicans for Environmental Protection,” Reihing said, adding that he supports the development of energy efficiency.
Reihing also noted that McCain wants oil prices to be changed by the research, introduction and availability of ethanol and alternative fuel sources.
Reihing also gave her thoughts on McCain regarding issues such as taxes, healthcare, social security, medicare, and government spending.
One thing stands out when summing up Reihing’s support for McCain as the next possible man to take up residence in the White House.
“I truly do believe that he has many new and challenging ideas that will improve our country,” Reihing said.
Steve Andrews, an accounting and finance major graduating in 2009 also gave his thoughts as a McCain supporter.
Andrews said that Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich, and added his concerns about that particular issue.
“I’m not one of them so why should I care, right?” Andrews said.
Andrews went on to explain how, according to numerous research and academic studies, raising taxes on the rich would hurt those who are not rich.
“It is a disincentive for business owners- the wealthiest Americans- to expand and grow their business,” Andrews said.
Andrews added that it would not only hurt the economy but would also take away jobs and hurt the working class. Another reason for Andrews’ concern about Obama’s tax plan is what the rich will do to workers’ finances as a result.
“Obama’s new tax policies are going to take money from the rich and the rich,” Andrews said. Andrews stated that the rich will then have no choice but to pass on that extra tax burden to the rest of us.
On matters of foreign policy, Andrews felt that a big issue was the difference in experience between the rival presidential candidates.
“I just don’t feel that Mr. Obama has the experience necessary to run the greatest country on Earth,” Andrews said. “McCain’s experience will guide him through the toughest of decision.”
Andrews’ voting decision in favor on McCain included where the Republican stood on other issues such as Iraq and abortion.
Looking back to earlier in the race for the White House, it shows what time can do for a presidential hopeful. The Arizona senator and war veteran has gone from a stand-still campaign to being the Democrats’ biggest presidential rival. That story could be what inspires some Republican voters, just as Obama’s growth from unknown to the big time equally inspires.
No matter who wins the White House, some will be happy with the outcome and others will not be so happy. Whatever the outcome, the 2008 presidential race has a great deal of history-making moments for us to look back on.
Carol Dwyer is a fourth-year student majoring in English and communication studies. She can be reached at CD660170@wcupa.edu