UH leans left in straw poll

When political science sophomore Nick Fox enters the ballot box this November, he will not cast a vote for either Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama.

“I think that Romney and Obama both represent interests that seek to expand government powers and curtail individual liberties,” Fox said.

“Gary Johnson pledges to reduce the size of government and allow the economy to recover as it should, unaided by government interference. Not to mention, he’ll end the failed war on drugs and the war in Afghanistan.”

Johnson was nominated as the Libertarian party’s candidate. It is yet to be seen how much of an impact Johnson will have on the presidential race on a national scale.

UH is the second most diverse college campus in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report from 2009, and the myriad of nationalities and cultures result in a wide range of opinions. To get an idea of what UH’s student body thinks, an unscientific poll was conducted involving 100 students.

The poll showed 59 percent would vote for Obama, while 36 percent would take Romney. The remaining 5 percent would give Gary Johnson an affirmative.

Assuming all those polled were between the ages of 18 and 29, this shows a marked decrease from the 2008 exit-poll data where Obama received 66 percent of votes between those two age groups.

“The highest turnout since 1960 was due in part to a sharp increase in voting by college-educated youth and record numbers of African-Americans going to the polls,” according to a Reuter’s article on the Huffington Post website.

The reasons for the shift vary for each student. Supply-chain management senior Jared McNeel said he will vote for Romney because Obama has not managed the economy correctly.

“I don’t agree with the way he handled finances,” McNeel said. “Obama put in place regulations, and if they weren’t there, things would work themselves out.”

English senior Edwin Garza had a different view, saying supply-side economics is not the answer.

“Unlike the Republican counterparts, Obama doesn’t pretend that lowering everyone’s taxes is the ironclad antidote to our issues,” Garza said.

All three candidates have different visions on how to lower unemployment numbers and grow the economy.

For others, like hotel and restaurant management freshman Isabelle Owen, social issues are a deciding factor.

“I’m voting for Obama mainly because of his stance on abortion. It’s my body, and I deserve to have the right to make my own decisions about it. I don’t want that right taken away,” Owen said.

Chemical engineering junior Collin Watson said he is voting for the anti-Obama ticket.

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything Romney stands for. I’m mainly voting for him because I would rather it be him than Obama,” Watson said.

Others vote for the candidate with whom they could see themselves hanging out. Hotel management freshman David Wolfe said he will vote for Obama because he is a regular guy.

“I’m voting for Obama because I met him, and he’s really cool. He was like, ‘What’s up? I’m Obama,’” Wolfe said.

Regardless of the reason, the choice for students spreads all over the spectrum — Romney, Obama or Johnson.

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