Yesterday’s election results shocked many students at the
University, some of whom say they are hard-pressed to name a single
friend who voted for President Bush. According to election results
from seven main polling locations on campus, 6,472 ballots were
cast for John Kerry, while only 1,765 were cast for Bush.
Allison Jacobs, chair of the University’s College
Republicans, said she was excited about the turnout in the
election. “It’s great to see all of our hard work pay
off,” she said. Jacobs said that although the president did
not win Michigan, he made a strong showing, earning 2 percent more
of the vote than he did in 2000.
Ramya Raghavan, chair of the University’s College
Democrats, was concerned about what the election means for the
future of her party. “I think the Democratic Party is in a
difficult situation right now. A lot of people I know who are very
far to the left sucked it up and voted for Kerry. If the party
moves to the right, I think you’ll see those people leaving
the party,” she said.
LSA junior Stephanie Persin, who voted for Kerry, said she was
“I thought that Kerry would get us out of Iraq
sooner,” she said.
Persin said she is not primarily concerned about the threats to
“I’m really scared about Roe v. Wade,
women’s rights and gay rights,” she said.
Constitutional gay marriage bans passed in 11 states including
Michigan. It is also widely believed that the president will make
Supreme Court nominations in his second term, possibly threatening
to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that secured abortion
“I wish the Kerry campaign would have brought in lawyers
— I guess that’s more selfish,” she said. But
Persin conceded that she wouldn’t want the president bringing
in lawyers had the tables been turned. “On the one hand I
think the concession was the dignified thing to do because the
situation in 2000 was ridiculous,” she said.
LSA freshman Jonathan Nobile was more apathetic. “I think
pretty much things will stay the same. What Bush said in his
campaign doesn’t seem like it’ll make a difference in
our country and around the world,” he said.
Nobile, who had expected the president to be re-elected, said he
thought it was interesting that the election came down to a single
state. Ohio’s 20 electoral votes, while all but awarded to
the president, have yet to be formally declared.
LSA junior Sean King voted for Kerry because he thought the
president failed to handle the Iraq in war properly. He said he
thought the Democratic campaign erred in hugging the center while
holding on to its traditional base. “They should have gone
more negative — they were too positive,” he said.
He thought Kerry’s concession was gracious. “I think
he really had no option. He was behind in the popular vote and all
the Ohio precincts were in,” King said. “I don’t
think a few million votes will make a difference in bringing the
Raghavan said she thought Kerry would have enjoyed decent
chances had he tried to litigate the Ohio results. But she thought
his concession was done with grace and dignity. “He put a
good face on the Democratic Party even though he lost,”
She said she approved of how the Democrats conducted their
campaign. “I think we targeted the swing states, which was
important. I think we got the movement but unfortunately we
couldn’t get swing voters in Ohio to swing to Kerry,”
But Raghavan said she was proud of Americans’ response to
the president’s first term. “I think that when you have
an extreme president like George W. Bush, you see this amazing
movement getting started. I think Democrats can bank on the fact
that people are not going to sit around and let George Bush run
America into the ground,” she said.