From Donald Trump’s inappropriate comments about women, Muslims, and Latinos, to Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi and her questionable use of her personal e-mail address, the candidates for the upcoming US presidential race certainly provide a platform for colorful discussion. With the election less than 30 days away and two presidential debates already completed, Americans are trying to decide who they will vote for. According to the October 11th NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton leads with 46 percent among likely voters, while Trump holds 35 percent. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, trails with nine percent of the votes, while the Green Party’s Jill Stein has two percent of likely voters.
So where do Collegiate’s Upper School students stand?
According to a poll taken by Collegiate Upper School students last week, 39.8 percent of students who responded said they would vote for Clinton. Trump was not far behind, with 33.5 percent of student support. Johnson trailed with 11.3 percent of the votes, while 10.9 percent of the students said they would choose not to vote. The remaining support was either for an “other” candidate or Stein.
Most of the students who are Clinton supporters interviewed for this article were actually not excited to support her, but afraid of what would happen if Trump became president. Jessica Joseph (‘18) said, “I was undecided until the recent video released of Donald Trump talking about assaulting women and other misogynistic comments. I now am supporting Hillary.” Grant Villanueva (‘17) supports Hillary but is not excited about it. He said, “When forced to choose between the two, I would lean towards Hillary because I resonate with her attitude and values more than I do Trump. But sadly, I would not be excited to have Hillary as our first woman president because I believe there are many more other women that could be better.” Lauren Lynch (‘18) reluctantly supports Hillary as well. She said, “I really support neither, but I would rather have Hillary than Trump because I think foreign leaders would at least have respect for Hillary, whereas America would lose all credibility if Trump were to become president.” Gwin Sinnott (‘17) said, “…I would vote for Hillary. This is mostly because I am not a huge Trump fan, especially after the video just released. He is demeaning to women and, in my opinion, not fit to lead. Hillary has more political experience, and, despite her controversies, I agree with many of her policies.”
According to a recent Washington Post article, Trump struggles to gain support with women. There were no female Collegiate students interviewed who supported Trump. John Diemer (‘18) said, “I support Trump because he’ll make America great again, he’ll bring back jobs to America, and he’ll increase border security.” Most Trump supporters that were interviewed like his stance on immigration and security. Vaden Reid (‘18) said, “Trump is a businessman who knows how to get things done. He has a great immigration policy to give more opportunities to the men and women who came here legally. Look at Hillary’s past, and think about all the situations she has handled carelessly (Benghazi, emails, Clinton Foundation). Although Trump may have a big mouth, he is 100 percent the best candidate.”
Several students refused to support either one. Shaan* Sharma (‘17) said, “I support neither of the candidates in the upcoming general election. Both whine and complain about things that are irrelevant to running our country and care more about undermining one another than further bettering our country.” There were other people that claimed not to know much about politics but still had an opinion. Polly Sommers (‘18) said, “I don’t support either because I don’t know enough about politics, but Hillary seems like a liar and Trump seems like a comedian. Therefore, I don’t want either as my president, and I am worried for my country’s future.”
Whether you are excited for your candidate or disgusted by the process, November 8 will be a significant day for the United States. This election will surely go down in the history books as one of the most unusual of all time.
Featured image credit: Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia Commons.
*UPDATE: 10/18/16 10:37 pm: This post originally misspelled Shaan Sharma’s name. We regret the error.