You are herePresidential debates may be deciding factor on who wins election
Presidential debates may be deciding factor on who wins election
University of Denver’s campus is not the only area of Denver preparing for the first presidential debate. Parts of I-25 are shut down and nearly 12,000 people are traveling to the campus.
This is not the first time a sitting president has come to the DU campus. To the day, 101 years ago, President William Taft was the first sitting president to visit the campus. It was not a debate but it was still a president.
Over the next few weeks the current presidential nominees will visit other universities including Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on October 16th and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida on October 22nd.
Universities who have hosted presidential debates over the years all follow a long-standing tradition that started in 1956 at the University of Maryland.
The student council at UMD wanted President Roosevelt D. Franklin and challenger Adlai Stevenson to answer questions from the student body and so the tradition began.
The presidential debate of 1960 didn’t happen on a university, the debate took place at a television studio. That was the first debate to ever be on television. The famous debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon became the standard for televised presidential debates.
Those were the days when voters didn’t hear the stance candidates took on issues until the debate.
Now we hear messages every single day about each candidate’s beliefs, policies and goals for the country. So why are debates still necessary? Debates are the extra edge needed for candidates to convince the independents and undecideds.
“It’s that small portion of electorates that are up for grabs,” said Anand Sokhey, Assistant Professor of Political Science at CU.
Political advertising are seen so often on a daily basis during election season, a child could tell you what each candidate stands for.
Many people still don’t know who to vote for. They may not like either candidate or they just don’t know who will do a better job, so the presidential debates are still a vital part of each election.
For some, debates are the deciding factor on who will win their vote and many came with expectations of what they wanted to hear.
Samer Farag, a CU student who attended the Political Science club’s screening of the debate, said he came to the debate because he hoped that “both Mitt Romney and President Obama would give me something to believe in them a bit more.”
While another CU student who attended the watch party, Tiernan Pfaus, said that he watched because “he wanted Mitt Romney to sell himself to [his] vote.”
The debate did have its funny moments like Romney’s comment on Obama’s anniversary which happened to take place last night, however, voters were much more interested in hearing about the issues that are important to them.
Kyle Bouchey, a CU freshman who joined the watch party, wanted to know more about the candidate’s stance on immigration.
‘Because of where I’m from that’s [immigration] a really big issue. A lot of my friends are undocumented so I need to find out what’s going to happen with them,” said Bouchey.
Like many college students are, Bouchey was also interested in education.
“I need to find out what’s happening to Pell grants—if I’m going to be able to afford going to college any more or not,” said Bouchey.
Alex Klinger, a CU student affiliated with the political science club, was also interested in issues on education such as tuition costs and interest rates for student loans.
“Being an environmental studies major, the most important issue to me is energy and striving for clean energy for the future,” said Jason Johnson, an environmental studies student.
After watching the debate many people have confirmed their vote, and some may have been swayed one way or the other but we are sure to see more from these candidates throughout the rest of the election season.