Young voters intently watched debates

September 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Throughout this campaign, young people have been engaged in large numbers on college campuses all over the country and here in the Bay Area.

On Friday night at Santa Clara University and more than a hundred students gathered to watch the presidential debate.

As the candidates faced off for the first time, this particular group of voters, took notes, blogged on line, and listened intently -- now that the election is just over five weeks away.

"I really thought Obama did a great job," said Ricky Alexander, a Democrat.

"McCain I think accomplished what he needed to, he set his foot down, he said his policies ," said Chris Mosier, a Republican.

However, supporters weren't necessarily the ones the candidates tried to impress.

"I don't think they're going to win over anybody from the other side. I don't think Obama will be winning any conservatives over and vice versa. I don't think McCain will be winning any Democrats, but what they're fighting for are those independent voters," said Assistant Professor of Political Science James Cottrill Ph.D., from Santa Clara University.

The latest polls show that 10 percent of Americans are undecided, the same holds true for those in this room. Ten percent of these students say, before the debate, they had no idea who they'd vote for.

"I'm feeling like I'm on the McCain train right now," Armand Domalewksi, an undecided voter.

The debate convinced Armand Domalewksi to vote Republican.

"He really hit spending hard today and this was the real McCain, the McCain from 2000, the fiscal hawk, the deficit hawk," said Armand.

The debate opened with talk of the financial crisis and the economy. Ricky Alexander, a student at Santa Clara University, would've liked more details on a plan for young adults.

"We have to focus on people's needs, every day average Americans who are struggling with health care costs, struggling with tuition, struggling with the economy," said Alexander, a Democrat.

While all of the issues couldn't be hashed out in a 90 minute debate, the majority of students gathered at Santa Clara University thought Senator Barack Obama was a clear winner.

The next debate is the vice presidential debates between Joe Biden (D) of DE, and Sarah Palin (R) of AK. They face off at Washington University in St. Louis. It will air live on ABC7 Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 6 p.m.


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