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In an election to be decided by just thousands votes, University of Colorado students admit to feeling genuinely dissatisfied with the candidates. This is not only likely to affect the decisions students make on polling day, but whether they turn up to vote at all.
The Harvard Public Opinion Project has released research data saying that this year only 48 percent of young people are likely to vote. This is a 15 percent decrease from the 63 percent who committed to vote in 2008.
For students at CU it seems many reasons are responsible for why young people have become disenchanted with the current political rhetoric.
Laura Chumbley, a 21-year-old senior psychology major, said that neither of the candidates in the presidential election stuck out for her.
“I don’t think either of them are perfect candidates for the presidency,” Chumbley said.
Chumbley said that, although neither candidate is inspiring, both want to make big changes in the United States.
“Both those parties are offering drastic changes to such important parts of our world,” Chumbley said. “Sometimes it’s easier just not to make a decision.”
In addition to the candidates and their campaigns, many students feel their concerns are underrepresented in the agendas of the parties. Katie Hildreth, a 21-year-old senior, said that this has been problematic for her.
“They [Republicans and Democrats] need to spend more time explaining what they are going to do for college students,” Hildreth said. “My biggest thing is student loans. I hate the fact that college is so expensive.”
The campaigning style of Obama and Romney is a particular sticking point for students like Mitch Stacey, a 19-year-old freshman open-option major.
“What have I seen that I do like?” Stacey said. “I don’t know. I don’t think Obama or Romney is of the highest moral character.”
Stacey said he sees so few political alternatives in 2012 that he is refusing to participate in the election.
“I’m fed up with the way the system is so I’m not going to participate,” Stacey said. “I would not vote for either of the main parties. I want the government out of my life.”
Talcott Wilson, a 21-year-old senior, has also found the candidates’ campaign approach to be less than inspiring.
“All the ads, I’m just so sick of them,” Wilson said. “I feel like it is very mean spirited. I would much rather have an ad about the good things you are going to do rather than the shitty things that your opponent has done.”
Wilson believes that the campaign strategies employed by Obama and Romney’s campaigns have left many young voters frustrated.
“It’s not a great time in America right now,” Wilson said. “So why do we have to be brought down further by our politicians?”
Wilson said that the extreme sides taken by the Republican and Democrat candidates is also a deterrent for many students.
“Most people can’t relate to extreme views,” Wilson said. “I don’t know why the parties are so polarized. I feel like we’ve spiraled out of control.”
Wilson said that the parties have stumbled in their attempt to appeal to young people, but still encourages students to vote because bigger issues are at stake in the upcoming election.
“Young people need to get more involved, they need to start caring about politics because it is a two-way street,” Wilson said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Matt Bamford at Matt.email@example.com.