Students stumped by midterm elections

With tight races in the Senate, Congress and 39 governors’ seats coming to a close, the political industry can be closely related to  a war zone.

Politicians are attacking their opponents from every angle in an attempt to gain enough votes to place them in office. While both parties agree America is experiencing a time of political weakness, the finger is being pointed in both directions. Republicans blame the leftists, further pulling on the strings of discontent with each bill passed through a Democratically-dominated House.

Democrats blame conservatives, unified in what they stand against, but far less certain what they stand for. The political fallacies are endless and further support the latest Glenn Beck ideology that America has infinitely regressed since the days of Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues and “help your neighbor” philosophies.

But just how beneficial are these accusations in gaining voter enthusiasm? As midterm elections draw near, politicians are taking desperate measures to contain the damage they might face.

Former President Bill Clinton, one of the Democratic party’s strongest assets, visited UK recently to promote Jack Conway in his race for Senate. Why waste time campaigning among a portion of the voting population that is among the lowest voting bloc? For the reason of getting young voters back to the polls this year. It is critical for Democrats’ hopes of hanging on to majorities in Congress, particularly in the Senate.

While college students were one of the main components of the platform upon which the Obama campaign achieved its success, it is questionable how promising voter turnout will be at midterms.

“Not just Barack Obama, but Democratic Candidates up and down the ticket…benefited from the higher than normal turnout among college-age voters in 2008,” UK political science professor Bill Swinford said. “In fact, some Democratic candidates probably won because of it. If those voters do not return in 2010, that’s problematic.”

When it comes to politics, most college students are looking towards the future. During a time of economic uncertainty, many students are concerned with job availability in the years to come.

“I’m definitely concerned about what kind of job opportunities will be out there once I graduate,” said UK freshman Casey Magyarics. “The repercussions that come with the wrong candidate holding office could impact my entire future.” So why aren’t students voting in what many described as “just midterms”?

Most, simply answered: “lack of motivation.” UK senior Cameron Banks said the track-record of current political office-holders was evidence enough as to why voter turnout among the younger generation is so low.

“Candidates spend so much time belittling their opponents. They ask for my vote — I ask ‘what am I getting in return?,’” Banks said.

So while the two parties fail to find common ground to stand upon – the nation consecutively shifting from Blue to Red – unpredictability of American voters keeps political candidates on edge and college students in the limelight.