Election 2012 – Students react

By Chelsie Gastright, Organizations Editor

November 9, 2012

Every four years, the American people spend hours in polling lines and on their couches waiting anxiously to hear who will win the 270 electoral votes needed to take the coveted presidential spot.

This year, American’s spoke, and with what had been rumored to be eerily similar to the 2000 presidential race by USA Today, the gridlocked 2012 race did not disappoint.

Polls officially opened around the country at 7 a.m. on Nov. 6 and it was non-stop until they closed at 9 p.m. It was a concern that college aged voters would not go out to vote, but at High Point University, the students proved that they were above the statistic and wanted their voices heard this Election Day.

“I (early) voted for the first time on Saturday. I voted for Barack Obama for a variety of reasons,” said Josh Walston, a sophomore. “I am a fan of Obamacare… specifically in the portion where it does not deny health care to folks with pre-existing conditions. I was denied health care at one point because of a pre-existing condition, so that was a big deal for me.”

It seemed that many people who cast their votes for President Obama agreed that Gov. Mitt Romney could have harmed certain areas for American citizens that they were concerned about.

“I voted for him [Obama] because I do not agree with Romney’s policies on women rights, LGBT rights, foreign policy, and so on,” said Brittany Bradfute, a senior.

However, not everyone agreed that President Obama deserved a second chance in the White House.

“I feel like Obama has made our country become more in debt the past four years, and I feel like Romney could really help our economy,” said John Patillo, a sophomore.

One HPU student wished to remain anonymous, but was willing to share that they did in fact cast their vote for Gov. Romney, saying, “The past four years have not been bringing us change, and Mitt Romney has a good track record of success and being a leader when we needed a leader.”

The other reasons for voting for a specific candidate ranged from giving President Obama another four years to enact his change, to simply thinking that Gov. Romney could bring about more change than President Obama ever promised.

At this point, however, it was out of their hands and all Americans could do is watch the news for the upcoming results.

The night went by, and the election seemed neck and neck. For a while, both candidates were gridlocked, and each time the man in red would pull ahead, the man in blue would push forward to close the gap.

After President Obama was called to win major states such as California and Ohio, it sent his Electoral College votes above the 270 he needed.

Even though the students seemed split down the middle on who they voted for and why, the atmosphere was different after many news programs, including Fox News, called for President Obama to be re-elected for a second term.

“I would have been happier with Romney, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world,” Said Nathan Barrick, a freshman. “I think we will see a political gridlock continue, which will allow the economy to improve on it’s own without government interference.”

Another student also agreed that regardless of the political differences, there was no reason to start a riot over an opposing candidate taking office.

“It’s fine Obama won. I would have been ecstatic if Romney won, but I’m not going to picket or anything,” said Maddie Brown, a sophomore. “I try to make my voting decisions purely political rather than social. I love America and I wish the best for this country no matter who is the president.”

Not everyone, however, shared this moderate view of the election results. A sophomore expressed her great displeasure of having President Obama back in office. Not because of her own political views, but because of her parents.

“I have seen no real changes with Obama. My parents are both small business owners and Romney would have helped them,” said Taylor Patzwahl, after stating her mother owns an accounting firm and her dad owns a golf cart dealership.

This election has been quite the gridlocked battle, and with the popular vote poll coming down to roughly 125,000 votes, the majority of HPU students can agree that whether they like it or not, President Obama is back for a second term.

“I am a little excited,” said sophomore Devonte Dinkins. “I think Obama has unfinished business, and I think he is going to finish what he started.”