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Auburn U. Roommates Divided By Election Politics

This story was written by Bridgette Bonner, The Auburn Plainsman

Political tension can be cut with a knife when the people disagreeing share the same address.

Roommates and first cousins Stewart Jackson, an Auburn Universityjunior in rehabilitation services, and John Delaney, a junior in political science, butted heads for the last few months on political issues.

Jackson fits into the 66 percent of young voters who supported Barack Obama

Delaney agrees with the 31 percent that supported John McCain.

Political surveys show that abortion, the economy and immigration were the most important issues in the election.

Jackson said his main concern in choosing his presidential candidate was offshore oil drilling.

McCain has big ties to oil companies, and it would have been a if you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours situation, Jackson said. I think Obama will be harsher on oil companies because he does not have the same ties McCain does.

But Delaney is for offshore drilling.

Why not use the sources America has, instead of depending on other countries? Delaney said. Its not good to rely on other nations as much as we do for oil, and offshore drilling creates new jobs for Americans.

Jackson and Delaney had heated debates during the months leading up to the election and fought about whether to watch CNN or Fox News.

No matter how differently they felt, the two never held back.

We said whatever we wanted, and if the other one didnt like it, he would have to get over it, Jackson said.

Although Jackson and Delaney have different ideas on who would make a better president, they said the election has not affected their relationship.

We could get into it, but at the end of the night, hes still my family, Delaney said.

Sorority sisters Shannon Donelson, a junior in communications, and Courtney Hutto, a sophomore in hotel and restaurant management, avoided the sensitive subject.

McCain had my best interests in mind, especially involving his tax platform, Hutto said.

Donelson voted for Obama because she likes how he connected with young voters and agrees with his policies on health care, the war and economics.

Both agreed they felt like they were walking on eggshells around each other.

When one of us would make a comment about the election, things got awkward, and we immediately changed the subject, Hutto said.

Donelson said there was some tension, but they didnt let politics get between them.

Our friendship is more important than who we supported in the presidential election or whether we were a Democrat or Republican.

But politics cannot be defined as simply the Republican or Democratic Party.

Richard Force, a senior in economics, voted for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate.

Forces roommate Jeff Diemer, a junior in geography, checked the box for Obama on his absentee ballot.

In the Libertarian party, people have the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as theyre not hurting anyone else, Force explains.

Wheres the harm in that?

Force believes Barrs policies would actually work, as opposed to Obamas policies.

Having a Democrat that proposes free health care and affordable housing for everyone leads to less available health care and housing in the long run, Force said.

Diemer said Obama was preferable to McCain because McCain supported President Bush, and there was no way he was going to vote Republican after Bushs run in the White House.

Obama has a better understanding (than McCain) of hat the people are going through, Diemer said. He knows what life is like for the average American.

Force and Diemer discussed politics openly over the last few months.

We said whatever we wanted in front of each other, Force said.

The two can agree things will be interesting for the next four years.

Nobody knows whats going to happen, Diemer said. It could be good or bad, we dont know, but it will certainly be different.

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