Students react to election, look to the future


The election yielded a close popular vote. Graphic/ Maddie Mayhew

President Barack Obama was elected on Nov. 6 for a second term as President of the United States.

Obama received 51 percent of the popular vote and 332 electoral votes. However, in the days leading up to the election, the Orono hallways were abuzz with debate.

The swing state of Ohio clinched Obama’s victory over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, securing the electoral votes. The winner was announced around 9 p.m., even though voting had not closed in several states. It could be determined by pre-existing party loyalties in certain states that those remaining would vote in Obama’s favor.

“I felt like Obama had better policies on two things: gay marriage and women’s rights,” said junior Grace Knudsen. “It’s about what policies they’re trying to promote, and that’s why I chose Obama.”

Though Knudsen was not eligible to vote in this year’s election, she said she strongly supported the liberal values of the candidate. “It’s more what I don’t support about Mitt Romney. [He] seemed a little bit disconnected from the general population,” Knudsen said.

Junior Jacob Sterling also was not eligible to vote in the election, but said he held strongly conservative values. “I agree with the Republican party’s on how the country should be run,” Sterling said. “I don’t think that Obama has done a good job as president for the last four years, especially considering that he’s raised the debt exponentially.”

Senior Jeff Sauer voted in the election this year with the idea that, “a new direction would be a better avenue.” Sauer said that though he voted for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, he considers himself more of a libertarian. “I agreed with Obama in terms of expanding social policies…and I also agreed with Mitt Romney’s economic plan,” he said.

In preparation for another term under the Obama administration, “I’m starting to save my money,” Sterling said. “The social aspect’s fine,” he said, “he’s trying to give people freedoms and make the middle class jump up a level, but…he’s making government bigger.”

Sauer said, “to specifically disagree with them on some things, I think that Mitt Romney might have had too strict of social policies, and I think Obama might have been overreaching a little bit with the government.”

Sauer said he thinks that though Mitt Romney came in close to Obama with 48 percent of the popular vote. “It’s all about how they present themselves as a person and a leader,” Sauer said.

Though he did vote conservatively, Sauer said, “I think he [Obama] will be able to handle the economics really well. We have job growth every year…People just need to understand that recovery takes time.”

“Two things I really want to see improve are education and energy uses,” Knudsen said, “because those two things have ramifications thirty years down the road that could really affect our country as a whole.”

Students expressed both disappointment and joy at the re-election of Obama. Parties lines divided the school, following what was called “the most important election of this generation.”

Maddie Mayhew is the Editor in Chief for the The Spartan Speaks.