As the Presidential Election of 2012 draws near, Seton Hill University (SHU) students considered what issues were the driving forces of their political stances. SHU students also stated if they planned to vote by political party or by candidate.
Religion and life issues seem to represent a major influential factor when choosing a presidential candidate.
“I vote Republican for a few reasons, one of the main reasons is because I am personally Pro-life. In addition, I strongly disagree with many of the aspects of Obama care because of the pressures it puts on Catholic health care institutions,” said senior marketing and human resource major Maura Maher.
A perspective on contraceptives is also offered on the topic of life.
“I support pro-life stances, but I think that women should be allowed to use contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant. However, if a women does become pregnant then I believe the women should carry it to term. Adoption is always an option. I think that this is the biggest issue for me,” said sophomore Spanish and communication major Kate O’Neill.
According to other student voters, voting for the next U.S. president is crucial for different reasons.
“I am voting by character, which sticks out most to me. It is really clear through the campaign messages. As a young person, I felt very important and was driven toward the Obama campaign. When I’ve visited the downtown’s campaign office, I really liked the atmosphere. I wanted to learn about campaign details and get to know more about politics. I also checked out the Republican campaign office and experienced the complete opposite feeling. Obama mainly stands out to me because he believes in students and women,” said Giannina Gonzalez, junior political science and communication major.
Healthcare is a noteworthy topic for Ashley Contino, a marketing and human resource senior and voter with multiple sclerosis. “Romney has shown a major interest in dealing with illnesses and diseases, which is a huge aspect in my life,” said Contino. Contino further stated that she supports Romney’s entire spectrum of beliefs and agrees with his campaign strategy, especially after viewing the debates.
The issue of women’s rights is an additional component to consider when voting.
“I have been very confused on some of Romney’s women’s rights stances. For example, equal pay. Now, on the issues he does seem to know about, such as abortion, birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings provided through health care, he does not support it. Additionally, he wishes to eliminate Planned Parenthood and take us back to the dark ages, if you ask me. Romney threatens to keep women behind while Obama promises to keep us equal,” said junior psychology major Maddy Derby.
Foreign and domestic issues were a popular theme among the debates and did not go unnoticed by SHU voters.
“I’m Republican and voting Republican mainly because of Romney’s view on foreign and domestic issues. I agree with his stance on rebuilding America and creating jobs for the large number of unemployed people that live in our country. With job creation at home, it can help America to be a strong force with foreign nations,” said junior Kristi Smith, marketing and human resource major.
In addition, SHU students seem to vote a specific way because of an issue that they strongly support.
“I am voting because of certain policies. I am a registered Democrat but lean more towards Libertarian. I care about green issues, but also focus on economic issues. My parents are registered Republicans so in that sense I am different. They are more pro-life and vote that way. I would say that I am pro-life on most issues. Also, I look at policies rather than a candidate specifically. However, my opinions can’t really be generalized in a political party,” said Peter Stalter, sophomore international studies and Spanish student.
“I usually vote by a specific policy. After considering the policies, I vote by candidate. I am a registered Independent and am more moderate than anything. I like to see both sides. However, it really depends upon the background of the candidate. I want to consider these facts when voting,” said senior political communication major Maria Gallina.