Red, blue ‘ undecided

Clinton, Obama? Giuliani, Romney? Too bad it’s not Colbert.

The presidential election is exactly a year away, and students say they want Barack Obama to win but expect Hillary Clinton to take office instead.

Obama beat out Clinton by 1.9 percent in popularity, but lost by 15.8 percent in likelihood to win in a non-scientific poll conducted by The Daily Cougar in late October.

The poll was given to 1,000 randomly chosen students of varying majors across campus and consisted of three questions: If you could choose any one of the candidates running for president, who would you choose, who do you think will be the nominee of each party and who do you anticipate will be the next president?

Students were allowed to choose from Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Sam Brownback, Rudolph Guiliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Fred Thompson and other.

Who do you want to be your next president?

For the first question, Obama scored the highest among students with 20.1 percent.

"If I had my personal choice, Barack Obama would be elected because of his careful discernment on issues," political science junior Crystal Singleton said. "(But) just being honest in a white, male-dominated society, the chances of a black male being elected commander in chief are slim to none."

Barack, 46, has said he has the intention of restoring international relations and strengthening American security by "cracking down" on conventional weapons and stopping nuclear terrorism. He is also emphatic about ending the Iraq War and implementing universal health care, according to his Web site.

Clinton did not stray far behind with students as to whom they would want to be president with 18.2 percent.

"Bill (Clinton)’s gonna be with her, and I like how he ran things," business marketing freshman Jessie Hewett said. "I don’t remember too much about war when he was in office. Everybody likes Bill."

Hillary Clinton has said she wants to strengthen the middle class and make health care affordable and accessible to every American. Some students, like pre-pharmacy sophomore Mustafa Bhimani, are interested in her platform and believe what she says.

"I want to give Hillary Clinton a chance," Bhimani said. "I think she’s different than all the other candidates. She has a perspective and does her actions based on her own initiatives."

Republican support was considerably lower compared to Obama and Clinton. Giuliani came in third overall, with 5.6 percent of students polled saying they wanted him to win the presidency. Paul had 4.8 percent of student support.

Guiliani, 63, has said he wants to "win the war on terror." Some of his "12 Commitments" are to keep America on the offensive in anti-terrorism, end illegal immigration and restore fiscal discipline. Paul intends to lower taxes, bring the troops home and "re-focus America."

"I think any Republican candidate other than Ron Paul will lose to Hillary Clinton," music education senior Matt Barnhart said. "The American public is tired of what the Republican Party is doing and has been doing in office. Ron Paul, however, could beat out Hillary because he is giving solid solutions and ideas to improve the American society."

The donkey and elephant

Student opinions on who would win each party’s nomination, however, were less varied.

Of those polled, 41.2 percent said Clinton was going to be nominated, with one student saying that her nomination is likely but "unfortunate."

Another student said of Clinton, "better her than another Republican."

Obama came in second for the most likely Democratic candidate with 7.2 percent suport followed by Edwards at 3.2 percent.

Giuliani saw a runaway for the Republican Party nomination with 36.3 percent of students predicting him to the nod. McCain came in second with 13.5 percent followed by Romney with 4.6 percent.

McCain has said he wants lower costs for health care, that "we must not fail in Iraq" and he will work to secure the border, according to his Web site.

Jessica Wilson, an anthropology and political science senior, said she thinks nomination predictions for Clinton and Giuliani stem from favoritism on the media’s part.

"If it were up to the people and the media actually portraying candidates equally, then Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul would be getting much more support," she said. "This is because their voting record and what they speak about are the same, rather than straight-up lies."

Kucinich has said he is the only Democrat who voted against authorizing the Iraq war and he wants to restore schools and strengthen Social Security, according to his Web site.

According to annual polls conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire, people are leaning toward different candidates the UH students – especially for the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney led the way with 29 percent, followed by Fred Thompson with 18 percent. Giuliani came in fourth after Huckabee with 11 percent in the Iowa poll done from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3, the New York Times reported.

For the Democrats, Clinton was still the leader out of the Iowa poll with 29 percent, Edwards came in second at 23 percent and Obama close behind at 22 percent.

The same poll was conducted in New Hampshire from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21 in which Romney led the way with 32 percent and then Giuliani with 22 percent. Again, Clinton gained the most favoritism with 43 percent and then Obama with 22 percent, the New York Times reported.

Romney has said he wants to end America’s dependence on foreign oil, strengthen Latin American allies and reduce "spiraling" health care costs, according to his Web site.

UH students also had predictions on what would happen if the wrong candidate – in their eyes – was nominated.

"If Edwards wins the primary, then the Democrats will win, but if Hillary or Obama wins, then the Republicans have it," said Chantelle du Plessis, hotel and restaurant management senior.

But who will really win?

When it’s all over, Clinton will be on top, students said. About 30.6 percent said that she will win whether they like it or not.

"I think Hillary is going to win because all the women are going to come together and vote for her," pre-pharmacy freshman Travis Moore said.

Other students were still torn between Clinton and Obama, who received about 14.8 percent of the support from students polled.

"I’m split between Hillary and Barack," architecture senior Chris Hopkins said. "It’s time for a change as far as leadership and listening to the people. I think together they would make a strong ticket."

Some students were still skeptical as to whether a woman would be able to win the presidential election, saying "any white male" would win over her.

"Hillary is too hated by the Democratic Party," mechanical engineering sophomore Joey Hinchman said. "She won’t be remembered for being the first woman president but that her husband cheated on her."

Only 10.2 percent of students thought Giuliani will become the next president; he was the leader among Republicans. And 8.3 percent of students polled were either unsure or named another potential candidate such as Stephen Colbert or Jeff Bagwell.

According to the latest poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News on Nov. 1, Clinton won over every Republican candidate by a margin of between 4 and 18 percent.

But what students think today might not matter when Election Day comes next year.

"I’m not really trying to vote this year because I don’t like any of t
hese candidates," forensic science junior Queito Teasley said. "Plus, I wasted my vote last year because Bush won."

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