Election 2004 brings upsetting victory

Many college students said they were pleased with the record number of voters this year, however, quite disappointed with the election results.

Several college students in the New Orleans area said they were dissatisfied or indifferent to President George W. Bush’s reelection.

"I was very upset," said Kailyn Bridges, a freshman biology major at Xavier University. "In my opinion, it was a big election year, and there was high voter turnout. That usually only happens when people want someone out of office, so I thought Democratic Senator John Kerry would win."

Dillard student Riga Watkins, a sophomore theatre major, said she was not as sure of the outcome as the election approached.

"I knew it was going to be close but I really didn’t know who was going to win," said Watkins. "I was hoping for different results."

Among self-proclaimed moderate Kerry supporters, the common sentiment was that Bush would win the election.

"I don’t think that the average American knows about international policymaking," said Triniece Walker, a senior education major at Southern University of New Orleans. "Bush seemed to be able to speak to the common person. Bush connects to people, he has that skill."

Despite the unhappiness of many students, others were pleased with the election outcome.

"I ate a lot of candy. Two snickers at 100 electoral votes for Bush and four more at 200-and was very happy," said Ashley Barnes, a junior at Xavier University.

Most students said they followed the election closely, researching the candidates’ platforms online, reading newspapers and watching television reports. The presidential debates also were widely watched by students.

"I felt like I needed to know the issues," said Michael Taylor, a sophomore at Xavier, who favored Kerry. "Everybody in my dorm was a Bush supporter, and I felt that I needed to defend my beliefs."
No matter who they voted for, students were mostly upbeat about Tuesday’s voter turnout, which, according to the voter census website, was the highest since 1968.

Some expressed concerns about the lack of youth voter turnout despite an apparent increase in youth voter registration.

"It would have been more of a voice for everyone," said Ann Cabins, a sophomore engineering major at the University of New Orleans. She said she was disappointed that young people did not take advantage of the opportunity to vote.

"We’re allowed to," said Cabins. "They didn’t."