Fear of Trump Win Drives WSU Students to Polls

A pro-Trump sign on Massasoit Rd defaced by his detractors.

By Madison Friend

A pro-Trump sign on Massasoit Rd defaced by his detractors.

The view from WSU’s Writing Center was busier than usual this morning as excited Worcesterites sought to cast their votes in this year’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries. Bright green “Vote Here” signs adorned the entrance to Worcester State’s May St. building, and a police officer directed voters to designated parking spaces along the road. A steady stream of voters entered and exited the building, eager to have their voices heard during this exceptionally galvanizing election.

Among consultants at WSU’s writing center across the street, the mood was equally political.

Kasey Wozniak, 21, and Catherine Jreije, 19, both plan to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary later this evening. They expressed support for his economic proposals, as well as his plans to ensure that public college be tuition-free.

Neither held back when it came to criticism of the race’s frontrunners, who they see as his two biggest obstacles to the presidency.

“Hillary’s not going to give a shit [about the middle class]. She’s shady as hell,” Jreije said. “And Trump is a dumbass. He’s ridiculously outrageous.”

“He’s like a second grader that shoots off their mouth,” said Wozniak.

Jreije and Wozniak weren’t alone in their assessments of Trump and Clinton’s personal character.

“Even if I were a Democrat, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton,” said Carol Chester, 65. “I don’t trust her. I think she says one thing and does another.”

For many consultants, their decision-making was influenced more by the candidate’s personalities and character than their specific policy proposals.

“Policies are important, but what stood out to me most was [Clinton’s] character,” said Jreije, on why she’s voting for Sanders.

Chester expressed a similar sentiment. She plans to support either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio in the Republican primary, but has yet to decide.

“I’m looking at the person, not all the hype,” Chester said. “I don’t really know what to believe, because what people say before they’re elected and what happens after they’re elected can be completely different, so I go more on the person’s background and their personality.”

Despite the consultants’ varied political leanings and personal histories, they universally attributed their interest in this election cycle to two factors – fear of a Donald Trump presidency and disdain for his behavior on the campaign trail.

“This whole election is insane, because the GOP doesn’t even want to support Trump as a candidate, and they’ve said he’s disqualified himself from being president with the things he’s said, yet people are voting for him,” Wozniak said in obvious disbelief. “What happens if he wins all the votes but the GOP doesn’t want to support him?”


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