Illustration by Jen Kelly

Who Students are Supporting in the Upcoming Elections

What students think of the 2020 presidential candidates on offer
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What students think of the 2020 presidential candidates on offer

The 2020 presidential campaign season has been in full swing for months. Candidates have risen and fallen. Media coverage of the race has been pervasive. Scandals, conspiracy theories and online warfare have all grabbed media attention. Headlines are filled with heart attacks, race-faking and corruption allegations. Voting begins in earnest this February with the Iowa caucuses. So, who will Humboldt State University students support going into election season?

“I really have no idea what’s going on right now,” HSU student and competitive rower Travis Wills-Pendley said.

The Lumberjack’s presidential poll from Oct. 2019.

Wills-Pendley is one of the many students choosing to let the dust settle before making any decisions. Californians don’t vote until March 3, so students will have a chance to see how candidates perform in other states before voting.

Although most students stayed away from the chaotic primary coverage, the majority said they would likely vote for the more left-wing candidates. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was frequently mentioned, along with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“I care a lot about education. I have a bunch of younger cousins and I really want to make sure they get a good education.”

Elise Guerrero

Elise Guerrero is a wildlife major who focuses on climate change policy and progressive advancement in education.

“Currently I’m definitely voting for either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren,” Guerrero said. “I care a lot about education. I have a bunch of younger cousins and I really want to make sure they get a good education.”

Meanwhile, biology major Nathan Johle thinks there is a lack of effective climate policy among the democratic candidates.

“I care a lot about environmental policies,” Johle said.

“This will be the first time I can vote in a presidential election, so I might as well use my right.”

Nathan Johle

Johle previously supported the climate action-focused campaign of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. However, Inslee dropped out of the race in August 2019.

“If I’m going to support a politician it’ll be Tulsi Gabbard,” Johle said. “This will be the first time I can vote in a presidential election, so I might as well use my right.”

Johle doesn’t identify with a certain political party. Instead, he chooses candidates based on their individual positions.

“I have beliefs,” Johle said. “I don’t like to put them between two labels.”

He expressed concern that students vote for candidates without doing their research, a sentiment echoed by fellow student Kitty Quintrell.

“I don’t like making a conclusion until I’ve got my own research,” Quintrell said. “That’s one of the main things I’m going to be doing before I submit my vote.”

In the short time before California votes, some states will have already decided. The popularity of the candidates will be much clearer. Momentum will be gained by some and lost by others. Due to the shifting field of the democratic primary, students are resorting to a tried and true method—waiting until the last minute to cram.

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