Students, political groups to closely follow elections

By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

UA political groups and students say they'll be glued to their television sets tonight anticipating the election results to determine the country's 44th president.

Students said another close race like that of the 2000 election and the presidential candidates views on issues affecting them are reasons they will be tuned in to the election results tonight.

Gabe Scara, a first year graduate student, said he'll be attending a barbeque at his friend's house and watching the polls come in tonight.

Brina Weissman, a pre-physiological sciences freshman, said she'll also be watching the election results while doing her homework because the race will be too close to miss.

Chelsea Burton, an undeclared freshman, said she'll be watching the election results come in because she expects another close election as well.

But Doug Kern, a biochemistry sophomore, said he'll be doing homework rather than watching the election results on television.

"I don't really care about it," Kern said.

Weissman said more young people are interested in the election this year than in years past because the media has made the public more knowledgeable about the issues most affecting them and whether the candidates endorse their point of view on issues like the war in Iraq and abortion.

Burton said more people are interested in the election this year because of controversial issues affecting the country such as the war in Iraq, abortion and gay marriage.

Kern said he thinks the race will be close like it was in 2000 because he thinks both candidates would be a good choice for president.

Scara said because the United States population is "polarized" on who to vote for, he thinks this election and elections from now on will be as close and decisive as in 2000, when President Bush defeated Al Gore by only four electoral votes.

Alicia Cybulski, president of the UA Young Democrats, said the UAYD and the Tucson Democratic Party will hold a rally for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the Radisson Hotel downtown tonight to cheer on his election victory.

Cybulski said UAYD worked closely with the Tucson Democratic Party in order to promote Kerry's candidacy and said anyone is welcome to attend the event.

Cybulski, a political science senior, said she and UAYD will stay at the Radisson all night to celebrate months of hard work and watch the vote returns come in. She said she expects some close races in battleground states.

"A lot of people are interested this year because of each candidate's plan for peace in Iraq, the economy, domestic issues and the affordability of college," Cybulski said.

Pete Seat, state chairman of the College Republicans, said UACR along with the Tucson Republican Party will hold their election results party to support President Bush at the Historic Manning House, an elegant Tucson mansion which hosts memorable special events and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

"We hope to watch another victory," Seat said. "We're looking forward to a great night."

Seat, a theatre arts senior, said UACR will make phone calls to people in the Republican Party who haven't voted yet as well as stand on street corners holding pro-Bush signs to get people to the polls.

Seat said all polls are indicating a close race in battleground states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, where electoral votes are key to winning the presidency.

Seat said more young people are voting in this election than in years past because of how patriotism swept the nation after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Usually people of our generation don't care," he said, "but our security and safety rest in the hands of the individuals we elect to public office."