Faculty reacts to Presidential race

(Robert Shoemake)

Joseph Espiritu and Erik Woods

Barack Obama was re-elected as President of the United States Tuesday night, securing the victory with an electoral vote count of 303 to challenger Mitt Romney’s 206, prompting diverse reaction from Saddleback College faculty and students.

“It was pretty much what I expected on the popular vote side, but it wasn’t what I expected as far as the electoral votes,” Lee Haggerty, a political science instructor said. “I figured the electoral votes would be closer than what they were. Obviously Obama’s strategy was to go for those states that had more electoral votes because he recognized that’s what determines who is president. And his team, I should say, evidently did a good job because Romney’s people did a really good job and it was very, very close if you look at the popular vote.”

Despite the big young-voter turnout in the 2008 election, more voters between the ages of 18 to 29 voiced their opinions in this year’s presidential race – jumping to 19 percent, one more than the last presidential election.

Age was not the only factor in the President’s win, but there was also a factor of race. The white vote also shrunk this election dropping from 43 percent in 2008 to 39 percent this year while the African-American vote stayed at a steady 13 percent similar to 2008 numbers according to CNN.  

History instructor David Dileo shared a few words about the election saying Obama is easier to read, understand and relate with compared to Romney.

We have seen what he has done over the past four years thus allowing him to be much clearer on where he stands, Deleo said, adding that Obama has faced a lot of pressure during his tenure as President from the very beginning during his inauguration to this election.  As for Romney – he will be harder to navigate, and I don’t know of anyone who can understand what he may or may not do. 

“He has a lot to prove and this time he has no fingers to point at. He inherited his own mess, Kevin Heartly, 23, political science said. “If he doesn’t uphold his promises this time, I think he’ll be held more accountable.”

As for a democratic president with a Republican House, Haggerty said that both parties would have to reach a compromise to reach their goals.

“What I’m hoping is that now we passed all of this and we recognize that it’s in our benefit to work closely together – both sides of the aisle,” Haggerty said.  “I’m just not sure if the Republicans are willing and ready to make that move so that we can forget about the last four years and find the president crossing over the aisle – working with the Republicans.  Otherwise, it’s going to be business as usual and I don’t think we can afford that.”

If they don’t, we’ll have the same thing we’ve been having for the last four years and that is a president proposing certain programs and policies that never get implemented because they get through the senate where the democrats have majority, but they never get through the house because the Republican’s oppose it, and until the Republicans realize we’re all Americans and even though we have our differences that we need to bring policies that are good for all of us.”

Ultimately, Haggerty said that he’s glad that the race is over.

“This gives us the opportunity to really see this as a challenge or to see this as an opportunity to make the world better,” Haggerty said. “I’m hoping we see it more as the latter than the former.  To me, what’s really going to determine this is does Boehner and his boys in the house take a position to be an obstructionist or do they make certain compromises in order to make the country a better country.”

Students were asked whether or not they voted, and if they did vote, for whom did they vote. 

Forty different students on Tuesday afternoon were asked who they voted for and while not everyone was willing to answer, most were inclined to do so.

For Obama, 27 total votes, 15 were male, and 13 were female.  For Romney a total of 13 votes, nine were male and five were female.

“I don’t think it matters who you put into the White House, I think there’s going to be polarization either way,” Alec Scheizenmeier, 19, psychology said.

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