INDIANAPOLIS – Hours before the first presidential debate, a group of University of Indianapolis students gathered to share their thoughts, in what’s been anything but a typical election cycle.
Eight political science majors, seven who will vote for their first time in November, said they will all watch Monday’s debate.
Their views are pretty spot on with what national polling shows among millennial voters.
A majority of our group gathered said while they may vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, they don’t necessarily like them as candidates.
“With Hillary Clinton, I don’t like what she’s done in the past and her positions in government, especially as Secretary of State,” Taylor Carpenter said, a UIndy sophomore. “And with Donald Trump, he’s just too far off the deep end for me.”
“There’s not really any candidate that understand what a 20-year-old is going through,” Jason Marshall added, a junior.
Brady Montgomery plans to vote for a third party candidate, a move that enough voters nationwide follow could make a difference. A recent CBS News, New York Times poll showed roughly 21 percent of young voters plan to vote for someone besides Trump or Clinton or won’t vote at all.
“If they don’t have the same principles at heart, you don’t have to support them,” Montgomery said.
The first-time voters debated the notion of party-voting no matter who the candidate.
“You have to worry about your morals and principles in determining who you vote for,” Aml Alkhatib said, a junior. “But at the same time it’s your party.”
Among our group of eight, Daniel Miller is the only die-hard Trump supporter.
“There are things that do scare me about him just the things he says,” Miller said. “He has no filter, but I think that’s what we need. I think we need a candidate that is going to say it how it is.”
Tanner Alexander is only one among the group who said he is 100 percent behind Clinton, a problem for both candidates who’ve tried in their own right to woo a quickly growing segment of the electorate.
“I’m a fan of President Obama,” Alexander said. “And I think progress is slow, and if you want to see real progress, I think you have to keep on the right track.”
Predictions are for a potential record-setting audience Monday night.
But among our group of students, they’re skeptical about whether it’ll help anyone.
“You know your candidate, you know your party you’re going to vote for,” Kayla Jo McKain said, a senior. “So I really find it hard to believe the debates are going to change or make that much of a difference.”