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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Final thoughts on 2012 elections

elections2012

With the 2012 general elections getting closer with each passing day, students are thinking about who and what they are going support with their votes, both nationwide and locally.
But after four debates—three presidential and one vice-presidential—and countless television ads supporting and opposing candidates and propositions, people are still not certain who will emerge victorious.

Sophomore Anjali Manghnani has followed the elections all the way through. After the debates, she still has contradictory feelings about the election’s turnout.

“I really don’t know who’s going to win. I feel Romney was a lot more prepared because he had more time prep for all the debates,” Manghnani said. “That’s why he came across as a lot more smooth and, I guess, likeable in the debates, but at the same time he kept changing his answers all the time, and he would contradict himself.”

Many people share this view, since Romney’s standing in the polls when the election first began was well below Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s. Now, however, according to polls done by the New York Times and the Washington Post,  Obama and Romney are now much closer.

History teacher Kirk Abe believes that this change has to do with how each candidate performed in the debates.

“It’s a dead heat right now. The debates definitely have helped Romney,” Abe said. “He was down the polls by a lot, [but] that first debate really helped him. Obama helped himself in the second debate.”

History teacher Mike Davey agrees with this view but also still could not say who would win.

“I think Obama won two out of three debates [and] I think most analysts agree with that assessment. But it’s pretty tight, so I don’t think I could call it right now,” Davey said.

Senior Maggy Liu also agrees with Abe’s assessment of Romney, but in addition, she doubts his chances of actually winning.

“Romney did really well with the first debate,” Liu said. “I think that they both have compelling arguments for their target audiences. Historically, though, it's harder to defeat an incumbent.”

Abe also agreed with the fact that Obama has a better chance by merely having more experience, but also thought that Romney dealt with this issue well in the debates.
“Since Obama has experience with foreign policy, he could take about that [in the debate]. I think Romney was smart in trying to refocus it on domestic issues,” Abe said.

Abe also said he thinks the closeness of the election may help to attract reluctant voters.

“I think we’ll see a lot of people come out to vote,” Abe said. “When they perceive elections that are close they think their vote counts more; they could change things. So we’re probably going to see a high voter turnout.”

Given the importance of this election, teachers are trying to encourage their eligible students to vote. History teacher Todd Dwyer believes participating in government is an important action one can take as a citizen of the U.S.

“Casting a vote allows an individual to express a choice among candidates who wish to become government leaders,” Dwyer said. “Failure to vote is tantamount to saying you don’t care who runs the country. The act of voting allows people to participate in a representative democracy through your right to freedom of speech.”

Dwyer also said he would like for students to look into the issues of the election in order to make an informed decision.

“Our students who are of voting age are about to vote in what is probably the most important election in a generation or more,” Dwyer said. “My hope is that our students will do their research on the candidates, in earnest, getting the facts, and finding out exactly what candidate's vision for the future is.”

District board candidates run for election
Along with the issue of the next president, positions in the district board must also be decided on. The three candidates running are incumbents Lorrie Wernick and Rosemary Rossi and newcomer Katherine Tseng.

As for the California-wide election, two of this year’s propositions concern public school funding for the next few years. Proposition 30 asks to only temporarily increase income tax for the wealthy, with the money going to schools. Proposition 38 also calls for an increase in income tax for 12 years, which will also help fund schools.

All decisions will be made when Election Day finally arrives on Nov. 6.

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