Election day draws closer; students weigh in


America is heading into its final full week before the presidential election between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump, and tensions are running high.
The presidential campaign this year has been said by many to be one of the most unpredictable, dumbfounding and notorious campaigns of modern times and Gannon University students agree.
“This election is one of the most unusual we have ever seen,” Jacob Jones, a senior political science major, said. “Two deeply unpopular candidates with members of their own parties actively disavowing them is unheard of.”
Holly Dill, a senior environmental science major, agrees that the election is out of the ordinary.
“This election is pretty sad—it’s kind of a joke,” Dill said. “They yell at each other like children, which would be hilarious if the fate of our country wasn’t at stake.”
Aaron Mook, a senior journalism communication major, thinks that the election has been rough, but not necessarily out of the ordinary.
“Quite frankly, this election sucks, but it is just that—an election,” he said. “We have one every four years and in another four years, we can once again choose to elect someone else should we feel the president is not tending to their duties correctly.
“There have been plenty of problematic elections in the past, just as I’m sure there will be in the future.”
Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has been under much scrutiny for her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. She was under FBI investigation earlier this year, but was not charged with any crime when her case was closed in July.
According to CNN, FBI Director James Comey announced Friday that that the bureau had discovered new emails and is reviewing them to see whether or not they are related to the investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information.
Trump, the Republican nominee, has been chastised for many things throughout the race for the White House, including his public feud with Alicia Machado, the winner of the 1996 Miss Universe competition; the comments and gestures he made concerning Serge Kovaleski, the disabled New York Times reporter; and perhaps his most notorious indiscretion, the recording of the conversation with Billy Bush from “Access Hollywood” in which Trump describes in lewd terms, kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women.
Though Election Day is looming in the near future, not all Gannon students have decided who they will vote for.
Katelyn Gourley, a sophomore criminal justice and information systems major, said that she is still on the fence about whom she’s voting for.
“Right now I’m thinking I’m voting for Clinton, but I’m still trying to do research on policies for each candidate before I make a definite decision,” Gourley said.
Dill, on the other hand, knows exactly whom she’s voting for.
“I’m voting for Trump, mainly because of his economic skills,” Dill said. “Graduating in May, my main concern is getting a job and in our economic state, that might not go well.”
Jones said that he will be voting for Clinton because he believes that her experience as a member of the Senate and Secretary of State has provided her with extensive knowledge of the political process.
Adam Miller, a senior journalism communication major, said he will also be voting for Clinton.
“I consider her the most qualified candidate, not only for this election, but maybe one of the most qualified candidates ever to run,” Miller said.
Mook said that he will be voting for Clinton, as well.
According to the CNN Poll of Polls, an average of the five most recent national phone polls, Clinton was still leading with 46 percent of voters’ support, a four-point lead over Trump, who has 42 percent of voters’ support.
However, in a poll from ABC News and The Washington Post that was published Tuesday morning, Trump, with 46 percent of voter support, is shown to be one point ahead of Clinton, who has 45 percent of voter support, the first occurrence of Trump leading the polls since May.
According to the same poll, Trump also leads Clinton by 8 points among voters who are enthusiastic about their choice. Clinton lost 7 points over the weekend, possibly due to the revelation of the emails off Weiner’s laptop.
Gannon students also seem to be following in the nation’s trend in this regard. Jones said that Clinton’s email investigation has made him skeptical of her ability to handle security matters in a confidential manner.
Dill also said that the Clinton email investigation shaped her decision on who to vote for.
“[The investigation] shows that she can’t follow proper procedure for classified documents and she’s lying to the American public about it,” Dill said. “No one being investigated by the FBI should even be considered to run for president.”
Jones said that despite the email investigation, he is still voting for Clinton.
“One of the main reasons why I’m choosing not to vote for Trump is the comments that he has made,” Jones said. “Reducing Americans to derogatory terms is a step too far for me.”
Miller said that Clinton’s emails haven’t changed his decision to vote for Clinton.
“Although there have been some troubling details in Clinton’s emails, I think that the amount of scrutiny and investigation has little basis, given the results of previous probes into her emails,” Miller said. “I am much more troubled by Trump’s lack of poise and true leadership qualities.”
Mook also said that Clinton’s email investigation hasn’t changed his mind about voting for her.
“While the news surrounding Hillary’s server scandal has at times been disappointing and frustrating – including what happened within the DNC – she has since apologized profusely and admitted to making a mistake – something Donald Trump will never do,” he said. “I believe that Hillary Clinton will win the election as she is the most qualified and least dangerous candidate running – something my vote is intended to reflect.”
Policy discussions in this year’s election have centered on topics such as immigration, abortion, the economy, gun control and foreign policy.
Dill said that she thinks Trump’s policy of lowering taxes will allow the average American to spend more of their income as they see fit.
Other issues that Dill said she hopes to see changes in are defense and the country’s border.
“Our country is flooded with illegal immigrants,” Dill said. “Although they sometimes do pay taxes with their jobs, their children that are born here become citizens and are then raised on tax money when our vets aren’t being taken care of.”
Jones said the issues he is focused on are the rising debt levels, the U.S. receding from the world stage and the state of disrepair that the American infrastructure has fallen into.
Though Dill is voting for Trump, she acknowledges his transgressions.
“Donald needs more tact, but at the same time, he says what I think needs said most of the time,” Dill said. “Our country is falling apart because we’re afraid of hurting feelings instead of preserving the Constitution.”
Mook disagreed and said that he is strongly against Trump.
“Donald Trump is an actual fascist whose views are only made more dangerous by his complete inexperience in politics,” Mook said. “I’m basing my decision primarily around his views on women, Muslims, people of color and his pending sexual assault allegations – some of which are against minors.”
Trump has been quoted making numerous disparaging comments about women, but Dill said that it’s just a part of our culture.
“Yes, it’s distasteful and demeaning, but at the same time, everyone has sexualized someone,” she said. “Our pop culture is 10 times worse and the Clinton marriage is a prime example of disrespect for females.
“I’m hoping and praying that Trump wins,” she added. “I think he has a good shot at it and I think a lot of that stems from the FBI investigation [of Clinton’s emails] and Benghazi.”

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