Penn State had its share of undecided student voters
By Leo Dillinger and Hasting Butler
Undecided voters – the ones, experts insist, who sway elections.
And Penn State had its share of them – voters who decided very late which candidate they would choose – President Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“I was unsure of who to vote for because it was my first year to vote,” said Jenna Zaidman, a junior in broadcast journalism. “My voice really mattered this year in politics. I made sure to hear both candidates’ sides.”
She said she ended up voting for Romney.
As Election Day drew near, just 8 percent of voters had yet to decide which presidential candidate to support, according to polls.
A prime factor for undecided student voters was their futures in the job market, they said in interviews. Others had difficult times making up their minds on certain issues.
Chandler Kisow, a sophomore majoring in petroleum engineering, said that although she never liked Obama and his approach to energy and economics, she only recently decided Romney was the candidate for her.
“I didn’t make up my mind until Romney said that he would promote the growth of oil and gas industries in the United States,” Kisow said.
On the opposite side of the energy spectrum, Dave Moyer, a fifth-year senior majoring in energy engineering, said he approved of Obama’s policies on looking for more sustainable energy sources.
“I decided to vote for Obama after the first presidential debate,” Moyer said. “His policies on renewable energy are very relatable to my major and job field that I am pursuing.”
Other students found themselves torn between the different political ideologies of each candidate. Andrew Gilchrist, a sophomore majoring in computer science, voted for Obama but initially struggled to choose because of his parents’ differing political affiliations.
“Both of my parents are split politically so I heard both sides,” Gilchrist said. “I agreed more with Obama and his stance on affordable health care.”
Lidia Ganjon, a senior majoring in veterinary biomedical sciences, also found it hard to weigh which social issues were more important to her.
“I like that Romney is more conservative in terms of his stance on abortions and being pro-life,” Ganjon said. “I also like that Obama was for gay marriage and equality.”
In some instances, students said that Obama had not had a long enough time to flourish in office. Henry Filmyer, a freshman finance major, decided a week ago that a four-year term for Obama was not enough to effectively run a nation.
“I feel that most presidents deserve eight years in office, unless they mess up,” Filmyer said. “I feel that the good that Obama has done will outshine anything negative that has happened during his administration.”