By Alistair Ramsay
The results of the student poll show a consensus that students at Monmouth College think President Obama’s views on social issues, student loans, and women’s rights will benefit them the most in the future. The poll was taken by 352 students just prior too the election. More than half of them voted for Barack Obama.
· Barack Obama: 191 (54%)
· Mitt Romney: 78 (22%)
· Other: 14 (4%)
· No Affiliation: 83 (23.4%)
· No Answer 4 (1.1%)
Going to college is costing students more and more each year, even with the amount of financial assistance Monmouth College gives out. Students believe that loans are an extremely relevant issue that affects them and determines their candidate of choice. The poll results show the importance of student loans because of the answer to this question: Would you be more likely to vote and participate in the political process if elected officials planned to reduce or eliminate the amount of student loans available to college students:
· More likely: 244(68.9%)
· No difference: 83 (23.4%)
· Don’t know: 26: (7.3%)
· No answer: 1 (.3%)
The results give an insight to why there was such a giant gap between the votes for Obama and votes for Romney. Students at Monmouth College believe that Obama has the right ideas on the issue of student loans. “Seeing the loans disappear is a terrifying thought, said senior Tessa Ginn. She thinks deciding a president that will help out students is very important. She also thinks that we have power to decide the next leader of this country. “You need to get out there and vote,” shouted Ginn. This poll showed students support Obama, but both candidates have opposing plans to help students handle debt.
Obama’s plan to handle student’s loans is to reduce monthly payments on loans to 10% based of income and will completely eliminate student debt after 20 years. He also plans on doubling the funding for Pell Grants aiding students to pay for college. Romney however has a different idea on handling student loans, he intends to highly reduce Pell Grants and focus the money towards programs surrounding skill training. Romney’s plan will also dramatically decrease the eligibility of students to apply for Pell Grants. Obama was the clear choice for Monmouth College because his plan is help limit the cost of loans, an issue that is very important to students as the poll a showed. The president also proved to be quit the ladies man.
The social issues facing young women, especially in college, have become a forefront of controversial topics in the election. In the poll, a vast majority of women voted for Obama opposed to Romney:
· 105 Females- Barack Obama (68.3%)
· 18 Females- Mitt Romney (11.8%)
· 6 Females- Other (3.9%)
· 23 Females- Undecided (15%)
· 1 Female- No answer (.7%)
The social issue surrounding women and the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies has played a big role in this election, especially the decision over abortion. Obama holds a more open view while Romney does not. “Women are adults capable of making their own decision,” said Trudi Peterson, Head Professor of Women’s Studies at Monmouth College. She was surprised at the results of the poll that women would even vote for Romney. “I see more young women coming to college misinformed about their bodies,” said Peterson who believes if women knew more about themselves, they would be more likely to disagree with Romney. Though, abortion may not have played such a bog role at Monmouth.
According to the results, students were divided over the question: Would you more likely to vote and participate in the political process if elected officials planned to prohibit or greatly restrict abortions:
· More Likely: 159 (44.9%)
· No Difference: 143 (40.4%)
· Don’t Know: 48 (13.6%)
· No Answer: 4 (1.1%)
The results could determine that abortion is not a huge factor in deciding the next president at Monmouth College. Students are focusing more on the issue of women’s inequality of pay in the work force or the funding of Planned Parent Hood. On the other hand, it could mean that there is a big difference over the opinion of men and women on the importance of abortion.
Romney does not support abortions and wants to cut all funding to Planned Parent Hood Clinics. This will reduce the access to birth control for women and other free medical treatments. It also brings up the controversial topic of rape, Romney supports Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who believes that pregnancy’s caused by rape are “something God intended to happen.” The comment has caused some issues for Romney’s campaign and potentially hurt his chances of receiving the female vote in United States as well as the support of Monmouth College women.
Obama disagrees with Romney by supporting abortions, and at the beginning of his presidency, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The act helps women receive equal pay rights in the workforce compared to men. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate and potential Vice President, voted against the law when it was passed. Obama won 68.3% of the female vote, showing that his policies are what the women at Monmouth agree with. Whether it is the issue over abortion, fair pay, or plan parenthood clinics, Monmouth College women want Obama as their next president.
The poll showed a huge divide between supporters of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Both candidates offer different views on the social issues that matter to Monmouth College students. The results show that more students agree with Obama on the issues such as student loans and women’s rights.