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Albany weighs in on Presidential election: 2016

November 3, 2015

by Journalism I

By Evelyn Andrade, Annese Bleichert, Tanner Coon, Jaime Durant, Shaurice Francis, Iyonnie Jones, Aaron Krein, Adrianna Lombardi, Kyle Pratt, Alexa Reyes and Elizabeth Valentin

Education, employment, immigration and human rights are on the minds of many citizens who expect to vote in the presidential election a year from now. While voters are mostly focused on the trajectory of local elections, in 2016  they will have a chance to weigh in on the candidates vying for the job of President.

The economy, foreign police and immigration are high on the list of one student’s priorities for the upcoming presidential election. Ryan Senecal, 20, of Amsterdam is studying political science and  watches Fox and CNN but sometimes turns to ABC and CBS as well. He also reads USA Today for news on the election. Senecal, a registered voter, supports Republican candidate Marco Rubio because of his views on foreign policy. “He was the only one to predict what would happen in Syria, and he’s the only person talking about the “21st century economy,” Senecal said. He also appreciates that Rubio is from a middle class family and that he’s in touch with modern times.

Sebastian Sorge, 19, wants a president who will address deportation and “mainstream feminism.” Sorge supports LGBT rights and wants a supporter of equal rights to lead the country.  She follows all of the presidential candidates on Twitter and receives both e-mail as well as text updates from Bernie Sanders. She also occasionally sees news both on television and the Internet.  Sorge supports Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders since he’s the “least misogynistic” and “significantly less problematic” than Hilary Clinton and all of the Republican candidates. Sorge said that voting is a basic right and she is disappointed that many “millennials are disillusioned” with the idea of voting.


Ryan Senecal discussed his thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

While some voters prefer not to share their voting plan, they are still paying attention. Take 18-year-old Elizabeth Liu, her interest is primarily education reform.“I feel there’s ways we can change our education system but I’m not sure how just yet since I’m only 18-years-old,” said  Liu, a Saint Rose freshman and music education major.  She follows ABC News, Twitter, and discusses the election with her parents and other adults in her life.  Liu has a candidate in mind but wants to research all of the contenders before making her decision and disclosing it to others. “I’m not one of those people that because there’s a few things I agree on, I’ll vote for them. I want to be an educated voter,” said Liu said, who still needs to register.

The cost of education is also a primary subject of concern for parents like Charles Sitler of the Bronx who has a child in college. Sitler reads blogs and news sites to learn about the candidates and he looks for contradictory messaging. He is concerned about taxes and his eventual retirement. Sitler wants the “war economy” to end, and for the next President to focus on getting jobs for returning soldiers.

One college student criticized the inability of the President and Congress to work together and suggested that she would like the 2016 presidential candidates to focus more on education, and social and gay rights. Siobhan Treacy, 20, a registered Democrat, intends to vote for Sanders and would like his campaign to receive more news coverage than it has.  The “Republican party,” she said, “is a little bit of a joke.”

An aspiring teacher also supports Sanders, in a large part because he thinks Sanders would make higher education affordable, said Steven Tanzi, 19, and a student at Dutchess County Community College. “I would love to see free college tuition,” said Tanzi. A registered Democrat, Tanzi also plans to vote for Sanders’ because of his stance on health care.

The candidates should focus on education and job creation, according to Danyel Gordon, who is studying sociology at Saint Rose. “Some issues that I would like addressed would be public funding for education, focusing on grades K-12. Also I would like something to be done about the unemployment rate, it’s a bit high so it would be nice to see a little more job training,” said Gordon. She conducts online research when she wants to learn about the candidates.

Economics Professor Khalid Mehtabdin said issues around immigration, unemployment, health care,  wars, trade and education need to be addressed by the next President.

“I just want people to be sincere and honest when dealing with the issues,” said Mehtabdin, who said some of his views align with those of Sanders’. “I get my news from several sources such as the New York Times, Wall Street, Pakistan Television, Russian Television, Arabian television and BBC. I don’t like to get a one sided picture, I try to get the maximum information out of that and form my own opinion on what is right and what is wrong.”

Immigration is a key issue for student Daisia Truss, who majors in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Saint Rose.

“I want to know why Donald Trump would want to get rid of all of the ‘anchor babies’ because that would mean that I would have to go to Guyana and I don’t like that,” said Truss.  Even though she is registered to vote she is still undecided on whether or not she will vote in the upcoming presidential election. Her mom, she said, is her main source of news and will influence her decision.

Saint Rose senior Esa Cano registered to vote when she turned 18.

“I think if you don’t vote, you don’t really have a right to complain about the president,” Cano said. She wants the future president to be sensitive to the needs of the citizens. Immigration is an important issue to her since her father is an immigrant,  and she said that uprooting so many people and sending them back to where they came from, as some candidates have advocated, isn’t the “wisest idea.”

Cano, a Democrat, supports candidate Bernie Sanders, but she isn’t certain he is electable.  “If more people considered voting for him,” Cano said, “he’d have a chance.”

The next president should be a good communicator, should be willing to work across the aisle, and should have charisma, according to John McKeating, who lives in Niskayuna and is originally from Ireland.

Party loyalty should not preclude the ability to compromise, McKeating said.

McKeating, a registered Republican, said he thinks Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon running for the Republican nomination is a man of integrity, and could potentially be a strong leader. Regardless of who wins the election, Keating said: “America’s gonna be OK.” -30-


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