The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Presidential primary brings vote to students

For many SMU students, Tuesday’s primary signifies the beginning of the first presidential election in which they are participating. While some students feel this election isn’t “that big of a deal,” most students disagree, saying this election is imperative to our nation’s future.

Many students at this university are politically conservative. This is not a surprise to most. Many students here are staying true to their Republican Party.

Sophomore Becca Mahoney said she supports Sen. John McCain because she thinks “he has the best chance of winning the presidential election [in November].”

“Although I don’t agree with all of his views, I want a Republican in office,” she said.

Mahoney is not alone. Sophomore Elizabeth Entenman said she supports McCain simply because “he’s the Republican [candidate].”

When interviewing many conservative voters, most students said they are especially interested in taxes and the economy, the War in Iraq and religion. While other issues are important, like health care and immigration, the former topics seem to be of most concern to them.

McCain supports lower taxes and a strong military defense, both of which many conservative voters support as well. Though most conservatives support Senator John McCain, there are some, mostly strong Christians, who support Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Junior Taylor Hatfield said she supports Huckabee because he has “good moral fiber.”

Despite SMU’s large conservative reputation, the school has a large liberal population – and it’s growing. Many students across campus, even some formerly associated with the Republican Party, support Sen. Barack Obama.

Freshman Anne Hargis formerly associated herself with the Republican Party, but her views have changed recently. “My switch mainly has to do with age,” she said.

She supports Obama over McCain because “McCain is just too old. He’s already in his 70s.” Hargis wants to see a new, young face in office; “Someone like JFK,” she said.

There are many different reasons students support Obama, every reason from “he doesn’t accept money from lobbyists to support his campaign” to “he’s very attached with today’s current issues.”

While topics like government spending, foreign policy and the war in Iraq are important to many liberal voters, the most popular topic of interest is health care. It seems to be a deciding factor between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama.

Clinton’s health care plan, which mandates everyone to have health care, is not that appealing to students across campus. However, Obama’s health care plan, which allows choices within the health care system, appeals to many.

“I believe everyone has the right to health care,” said Obama supporter first-year Michael Zarcone.

First-year Hugh Jones added, “I like his [Obama’s] health care plan because you can pick and choose.”

Although Obama is the most popular candidate among SMU students, there are still some who support the former First Lady.

“She’s still scary,” said first-year James Lucente, “but she has a decisive course of action and good policies. She has a strong stance on the War in Iraq and goes in a certain direction.”

Lucente also commented on Clinton’s health care policy. He said he likes her universal health care policy and thinks it’s a good push toward growth.

Still, most college students support Obama.

“It’s because he’s idealistic and many younger people are, too,” senior Shelia Zamanian said. “He’s a fresh face and younger people can relate to him.”

Most students feel he is easy to relate to because he is younger. Many students say he understands the needs of the younger generation and doesn’t leave anyone out.

First year Blair Bigelow added, “He has a lot of pop culture supporting him [Obama], too.”

Public figures like Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Scherzinger,, John Legend and Kate Walsh all support Obama in the popular “Yes We Can” music video for Obama. In addition, Oprah supports him and largely influenced the beginnings of his campaign.

“On a broad scale, the younger you are, the more liberal you are,” sophomore Lauren Debussy said. Also, because Obama is younger than Clinton and is more personable to many, he has the support of many young voters.

Conservatives agree. “He is a great speaker and is very engaging,” said Mahoney. “Also, it seems our parents’ generation is more concerned with [candidates’] policies while our generated can easily be persuaded by rhetoric. Plus, we [young voters] like new and exciting events, and Obama would be the first black president.”

“He’s sincere and charismatic,” Zarcone said. “He has a talent for swaying people’s opinion and doesn’t leave anyone out of his speeches.

“He represents new-age politics, and having him as our president would really signify progression. He has the ability to bring all the races in the nation together and inspire hope, and that is pretty patriotic,” he said.

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