The new Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Sept 11 showed that Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by five points among likely voters.
But things look different on the University of Georgia campus and in downtown Athens, where Trump supporters outnumber Clinton partisans.
Six of 12 students who plan to vote say they will support Trump, while only one favored Clinton. Three favored Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and two were undecided.
“I agree more with his (Trump’s) economic ideals, and I think he has lots of good ideas to help the country’s economy,” said Joseph Clark, 22, a business management student.
Psychology student Eliza Stolz, 21, the Clinton supporter, has a very different view of Trump.
“I think he is just loose cannon. He is not very diplomatic. A lot countries already don’t favor him,” Stolz said. “I don’t super approve of Hillary, but she is a more stable choice. ”
Gary Johnson has fans among college students.
“I don’t think Clinton is an honest candidate, and I think Trump is little bit crazy and unpredictable. I’m not fan of either one,” said Jessie Rankin, a 19 years old history student. He is going to vote for Johnson.
Two other students who like Johnson said they would vote for Clinton if forced to pick her or Donald Trump. Rankin said he simply couldn’t make that choice.
Although some observers think that college students aren’t paying attention to politics, the level of engagement among UGA students appeared high.
Some insisted that they followed the election from the beginning, although where they seek information varies quite a bit.
Emily Combs, a sophomore political science student, follows political news on five difference news channels, including CNN and Fox News. She does this because she knows that some stations lean left, while others tilt right.
Combs is a political junkie who hopes to be a campaign manager in the future. “I think it’s very important for us to vote,” she said. “We need to have voices and choose who the president is going to be.” This year, Combs is pulling for Gary Johnson.
For students who don’t have television, they rely heavily on social media. Rachel Gadra, a 20-year-old journalism student, watches her social media feeds and follows up on election stories that catch her eye. Then she does more research online.
Although Gadra has not decided who to vote for, she believes that voting is a responsibility that she and her peers should take seriously.
“I’m not hundred percent certain who I will vote for, but I have an idea where I like to see the future of our country go,” she said. “If I don’t vote and then I’m upset with how it turns out, I will feel regret because I didn’t participate.”
Voter registration is open until Oct. 11, and it’s possible to sign up online at http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections.