Vote 2016

JOSHUA DAUSENER, Copy Editor | [email protected]

The leaves are changing color and fall is on its way, which means the presidential race is about to heat up.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump will spar in their first debate on Monday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. CT. The debate will be aired on various news networks.

The first debate signals the closing stretch of what many have deemed a strange election cycle.

Donna Hoffman, political science department head, expressed this sentiment, saying that she thinks the election as a whole has been “very unusual.”

Brian Warby, political science professor, agreed, saying, “It has been a very odd election.”

However, the eccentricity of the election does not take away from its possible historical implications.

“Maybe you’re electing the first woman president, maybe you’re electing the first president in the modern era who has no political experience,” Hoffman said. “Certainly it will be a very important election that we’ll look back on. Maybe for good reasons, maybe for bad reasons.”

Hoffman went on to discuss her thoughts on each of the candidates.

“You have Donald Trump. Being a very unorthodox candidate, he doesn’t have political experience; he’s running a very unorthodox campaign,” Hoffman said. “You have Hillary Clinton. She’s the first female nominee of a major party, and so you have a lot of interesting dynamics that are going on. She’s running a much more traditional campaign.”

Warby, who specializes in international relations, also shared his thoughts on the two nominees and their foreign policy.

“Clinton has a very long track record. We can see what she’s done and what she’s supported and what she’s voted for or voted against, and her positions over 20-plus years,” Warby said. “She’s been pretty consistent for the most part […] She’s pretty hawkish on foreign policy, but we know what to expect.”

Warby went on to discuss his thoughts on Trump, saying, “His style is make big claims, shoot from the hip – very spontaneous without thinking all that carefully about some of the stuff that he says or even having that much background knowledge about some of the stuff he talks about.”

Many UNI students have strong feelings about the election.

Michael Ruccolo, sophomore social and behavioral science and political science double major, expressed concern over the two major nominees.

“I truly believe that the two major candidates are unable to run the country – simply because one is a blatant racist and the other one is a blatant warmonger,” Ruccolo said. “I feel like more Americans should be looking into third parties. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson – both of them have good ideas.” Ruccolo urged students to vote their conscience and said he plans on voting for Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Joe Schmidt, sophomore accounting major, shared similar concern over both Trump and Clinton.

“I think that we really could have done a lot better,” Schmidt said. “I believe Trump doesn’t know politics – he doesn’t know how to be diplomatic – and that’s what scares me. And I don’t trust Hillary.” Schmidt said he plans on voting third party and that he supports Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.

Polling data backs the feeling of disdain of both candidates, especially among young voters. A recent Quinnipiac national poll found Clinton narrowly beating Trump 41 percent to 39 percent, with Gary Johnson polling at 13 percent and Jill Stein pulling in 4 percent of support. However, among respondents ages 18 to 34 Clinton beats Trump 31 percent to 26 percent while Gary Johnson garners 29 percent of support, and Jill Stein receives 15 percent.

In the poll, 54 percent of Clinton supporters said they are mainly voting against Trump, while 32 percent say they are mainly voting for Clinton. Sixty-six percent of Trump supporters said they are mainly voting against Clinton, and just 23 percent said they are mainly voting for Trump.

In spite of this, each candidate has a strong group of supporters on campus working to elect their party’s nominee. Each group is preparing for the upcoming debate.

Northern Iowa Democrats President Jack Ave discussed his thoughts on the upcoming presidential debate.

“In Hillary Clinton’s senior year of high school, she was [on] the debate team,” Ave said. “I know she’ll be able to keep her cool and stick to the facts. Hillary Clinton will be able to fact check and ensure the truth is being said and that her points come across. I am confident that Hillary will win the debate and show the nation she is presidential material.”

UNI College Republicans Chair Sydney Lundgren also commented on the debate, saying, “I think that Trump needs to talk more about his policies and how he is going to directly help the American people. I know that he is capable of it; I just would like to hear the detailed plan of action.”

Hoffman emphasized the importance of student involvment in the upcoming election.

“You may hate politics, but we have to have politics [and] we have to have politicians,” Hoffman said. “It’s much better to be involved and to make your voice heard.”

Monday’s debate will be the first of four scheduled debates. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4.