SF State is Obama land
February 6, 2008 3:24 PM
SF State voters overwhelmingly supported Sen. Barack Obama in yesterday's primary election, according to a random survey of students who voted on campus. Many of those interviewed said his inspiring ideals are an exciting break from "politics as usual."
Rory Kelly, the communications director for SF State’s College Democrats, voted for Obama and said his ideals made him popular. “I’ve seen him speak twice. He’s intelligent and inspiring in a way that doesn’t seem facetious and I think that enthusiasm is infectious,” said Kelly, a 21-year-old student.
“I feel like Obama had a new vision and he’s African-American, which is cool,” said Ality Richardson, a business major. Despite her preference, the junior said she was not opposed to Sen. Hillary Clinton and many women probably felt inclined toward her because of her gender.
Obama dominated the student vote on campus yesterday, according to an unscientific exit poll the Golden Gate [X]Press conducted from the Seven Hills Conference Center. Of 409 students polled, Obama earned 68.7 percent of the votes while Clinton captured only 81 votes for a 19 percent showing. Few were those who identified themselves as Republicans and, of them, supporters of Sen. John McCain led with nine votes.
Graduate student Joan Sutton said Clinton would be the best president, but she voted for Obama because she thought he had a better chance of winning and she feared McCain. “I think the first thing McCain would do is bomb Iran. I fear a third world war,” she said.
Kelly, however, said he admired McCain’s “honesty, his courage—even on the stuff I don’t always agree with, he always made logical arguments.”
Rachel Kent, an undeclared 18-year-old, said she voted for Obama because “he’s someone new to the scene, so he better represents this area.”
“He’s worked with grass-roots organizations. He doesn’t fight dirty like Hillary,” said psychology major Kate Jensen, 24, when asked why she voted for Obama.
While Mahmood Monshipouri, an assistant professor of international relations, called Obama “charismatic” and “very appealing to [student] voters,” the candidate lost the popular vote in the overall California primaries with 42 percent to Clinton’s 51 percent.
Twenty-two year-old Tiffany Burningham, a double major in art and anthropology, said she had not yet delved deeply into the issues but voted for Obama because “I just liked what he had to say.”
“I would consider him. He’s a really good candidate,” said Alessandra Martinho, 18. The undeclared major said she was unable to register in time to vote in the primary. She remains undecided on who she will choose in the November election.
“I think [Obama’s appeal] is more of his charisma. He’s really captivating, he’s a fresh face and he is very inspiring,” said Eric Duke, a sophomore cinema major. Duke said he is registered as an American Independent but “I wanted to re-register as a Republican just so I could vote for [Rep.] Ron Paul.”
“It would be ideal if [Clinton and Obama] joined forces and became a super team. It’s refreshing to see they’re not attacking each other,” said Uni Martinez, 21. The English literature major did not realize the election was yesterday until it was too late to vote, but she would have voted for Obama because “I respect his character and ideals. He has a stronger personality than Hillary,” she said.
Staff writer Adam Loraine contributed to this report.
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