Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Decision 2008

Money And Health Care Top The List Of Concerns For Some Voters
By Brian Batista

At the Columbia University campus in New York, many students are aware of their vital impact this year, but some have yet to decide on which candidate is the best fit for president of the United States. On the other hand, there are just as many students that are decided and anxious for November to roll around so that their votes can be counted.

Statistics show that more that 29 million 18-24 year old registered voters will determine the outcome of this year’s presidential race for the White House, according to the Youth Vote Coalition. This election is already being considered a close call, and so are some of the decisions this particular demographic is making on their potential candidate. This age group, from different genders, backgrounds and majors, are trying to decide who will be the ideal candidate to determine the direction of our American society.

A number of college-age students seem to have one big issue on their mind: money. With the country in recession and various financial markets falling short of profits, many students are curious as to what kind of job market awaits them upon graduation.

“I am really concerned that by graduation this June, I will not be able to compete with others in a job market where everyone is desperately trying to hold on to their jobs” says Alexia Herrera, 24, journalism major. “I feel we have wasted a ridiculous amount of money and time on a senseless war, which is affecting our economy. I have decided that my vote will go to Hillary Clinton this year. She is clear, concise and is telling me everything I need to hear-we need to pull out of Iraq and focus on us.”

Herrera also said she supports Sen. Clinton because of her previous experience in the White House, and added, “We all know she was pretty much running the country while Bill was out in the shack with Monica”.

Mohammed Dakar, 23, political science major, agrees with Herrera. “I believe that a war with such endless resolve is draining our country of financial reserves, if we even have any money left.”

However, Dakar seems cautiously optimistic about this close race. With a large number of Obama supporters and his constant positive press, unlike Clinton, who rarely sees a day without negative stories about her, he sees this as a potential sign of trouble.

“A lot of people are being sucked into the Obama campaign because I feel like he is simply telling the public what they want to hear, and the overt use of the word “change” by his camp is luring in a lot of voters that just want the image. But they do not bother to research the facts, something I feel Obama is coming up short with.”

However, some students believe that Sen. Obama may have a solution to at least one pressing problem – health care.

Shannon Edwards, 20, an anthropology major, voted in the primaries and is anxious for her chance to vote for Barack Obama again this fall, in an already close election for power in the White House.

“I feel like he is a fine representation for our country and can fix a lot of the issues we are facing today,” she says. “To me, he seems like he is going to make changes in making health care affordable for me and my younger sister, with cancer.”

Edwards reflects on her experiences with health care providers and insurance companies that have denied her sister of coverage over the last few months. “It has been a struggle to find good health care for her, many insurance companies want nothing to do with us due to her condition, and I feel that Obama will strive to make insurance affordable for everyone, myself included.”

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