Election snapshot: Students talk about voting in 2012

By Sarah Worthington | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Flagler College students shared their opinions on whom they are voting for this time around, if and why they voted in 2008 and had their decision changed at all.

Senior Merika Childers couldn’t vote during the last election because of her age, but this year she said she will be voting for President Barack Obama because “he supports education, gay marriage and women’s health rights.”

The 2008 election saw a large number of young people who turned out to vote according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Childers reflects a trend that a recent poll released by Quinnipiac University in cooperation with CBS News and the New York Times revealed that Obama leads Mitt Romney among women voters. This is especially true in three key swing states, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

This election in November is centered on top issues such as unemployment, healthcare, foreign policy and the federal deficit, according to a Gallup poll taken in April 2012. These are issues that Senior A.J. Gauthier will not be voting on. He voted in 2008, but does not think he will be voting again this time around.

“I voted for McCain because my parents were Republican and I’m not voting now because I dislike both candidates,” Gauthier said.

A report released from the U.S. Census Bureau found that “Citizens between the ages of 18 to 24 were the only age group to show a statistically significant increase in turnout in the most recent election, reaching 49 percent in 2008, compared with 47 percent in 2004.”

Some at Flagler, however, were not old enough to be in that group in 2008. For Flagler College sophomore Sheyla Urbina, she’s voting this time around. She said she would be voting for President Obama.

“I’m voting for Obama for a million reasons, but to sum it all up, I want a president who’s going to care for more than 5 — 10 percent of the country. Simple as that,” Urbina said.

Speculation on young people turning out in record numbers again continues. However, only time will tell if the 2012 election rivals the numbers of the 2008 election.

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