The first Presidential debate broke the record as the most watched ever, with the viewership estimated at over 84 million. Here at the University of Rhode Island, a whopping 84 percent of 46 students surveyed said they watched the debate on Sept. 26.
Of these students, the overwhelming majority said that they believed Clinton won. Additionally, a mere 21 percent thought Trump won, and 15 percent stated they felt neither deserved the title, with many having said “both are idiots” or “too much bickering.”
Expected voter trends follow the same framework, as 48 percent of students surveyed said they will be voting for Clinton in November, while 20 percent said they will be supporting Trump. A crucial 11 percent still have not decided, and after the last debate it seems debating will not be entirely useful in helping undecided voters choose a camp. The remaining students will either be supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party, Libertarian Gary Johnson, or simply be choosing not to vote at all.
Unsurprisingly, over 86 percent of students surveyed do not feel adequately represented by their chosen candidate. The same is true for Vicky Ferraro, a senior political science major at URI, who said she’ll end up voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
“A lot of people [on campus] don’t feel like they’re really represented by either of the two candidates,” Ferraro said. “Half of my family supports Trump even though they hate him, because they hate Hillary even more.”
Kathryn, also a senior at URI, asked that her name not be included in this article. She agreed that Clinton won the debate “by a landslide.” She too is not completely sold on Clinton as a president, but plan on voting for her anyway.
“She’s done a lot of not-so-great things, but she has a good platform,” she said. “I think she can keep this country afloat.”
In the debate, she thought Clinton “really knew what she was talking about,” and that her performance was far better than Trump’s. “I like when they answer the questions that are asked,” Kathryn said.
Ferraro is also among students who have not yet decided who they will be voting for in November because she feels torn. An avid Bernie Sanders supporter in the primaries, her original plan was to vote for Jill Stein as a symbolic statement against the two-party system she feels is poisoning elections in our country.
However, junior Tyler Daley is not sure that third-party candidates are the best option either, though he agrees with many of libertarian Gary Johnson’s views.
“It’s hard to say yes to a third-party because I want my vote to count,” Daley said. “Because they’re both polling so low, I don’t want to feel like I’m throwing away my vote.”
What will be the deciding factor for Daley will be whoever of the main candidates has a better platform regarding the economy.
“I’m looking for whatever point of view that will change the direction our economy is currently going in,” he said. “As an almost-real adult, I need to be able to find a job.
According to a national poll by FiveThirtyEight, Clinton has an 86.5 percent chance of winning the election, and Trump has a 13.4 percent chance of winning. Trump won the Republican primary with a landslide 63 percent of votes, while Clinton narrowly won against Bernie Sanders.
We want to hear from you! Do you have thoughts on the current election you want highlighted in the next article? Let me know at Rachel_nunes@my.uri.edu, and don’t forget to take part in the biweekly survey, located on the rhodycigar.com and shared on social media.