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U. Massachusetts Students React To First Presidential Debate

This story was written by Tori Hultzman, Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The first of the presidential debates between Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Barack Obama was held Friday, Sept. 26, at University of Mississippi.

The majority ofUniversity ofMassachusetts students interviewed were in support of Obama and planned to vote for him in November. Despite this, there was a lack of students who actually watched the debate for various reasons.

There were some typical answers for not watching, such as, " I didn't know it was on", "It was on a Friday night," "I wasn't interested," and, "I'm not 18, so I can't vote."

In fact, many students interviewed were surprised the debate would take place on a Friday night because of the fact that many politicians are trying to appeal to a younger crowd, and most college students do not tend to stay in on Friday nights.

For the students who did watch the debate, however, the reason was pretty consistent.

"I'm interested in politics,"said UMass student Edd Ricker, 18, from Pepperell, Mass. Devers Talmage, 17, from Northfield, Masachusetts agreed.

Most students interviewed had already decided on a candidate, though the reasons for their own decisions ranged greatly.

UMass student, Edmond Chow, 18, of Wayland, Mass, explained that he's voting for Obama because "I like blue more than red."

Ricker explained that he was in support of Obama's policies on global diplomacy, building the economy, his health care plan and the ideas of people before business and Main Street before Wall Street,

Talmage, who is 17, is unable to vote on Nov. 4, but said he watched the debate anyway, and that if he could vote, Obama would be his choice. When asked he would not consider voting for McCain, Talmage said, "He [McCain] picked Palin as his [vice presidental candidate] in order to please the masses. Palin wouldn't know what to do with herself. There is no way she could be president."

Zach Aggott, 18, from Pepperell, Mass., admitted that he was forced to watch the debate by his roommate, but still gained something out of it. When asked his opinion of whose performance was superior, Aggot said, "John McCain is an obnoxious public speaker. He talks in circles. I hate it. He goes out of his way not to answer questions. Obama does a good job of answering questions."

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