Students wary as presidential election looms

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Election season is upon us — Florida’s presidential primary took place last week — and many students are drained and nervous about the possible results for the 2024 presidential election. 

It looks like there will be another matchup between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Students are getting flashback memories from 2020 and the pandemic.

Shelby Colson, a third-year education major at Florida State University, is not excited about the upcoming election and would like to see different representation. 

“I feel like I am reliving a nightmare with this Trump v. Biden election,” Colson said. “I think America has been making a mockery out of our recent struggles during this climate, especially with a lack of attention towards student loan debt and inflation.”

College students today may be known as liberally based, due to their high rejection rate of the Republican Party, but studies show they do not identify and support the Democratic Party either. 

A College Pulse survey found that over 1,500 college students do not feel connected to either major political party. 

“Thirty-four percent of students surveyed identify as strong or weak Democrats and 11 percent claim to be strong or weak Republicans, leaving the majority — 54 percent — in the middle, identifying as Independents, leaners, or something else entirely.”

The political climate of recent years has made more college students get active in politics, which has seen a rise in college student voters, but those numbers still remain low.  

Overall, student voting has increased and risen between 2016 and 2020. According to the American Association of Community Colleges this increase has not been seen before within the college sphere. 

“Students voted at a higher rate in 2016 than in 2012 by about three percent points, rising from 45.1% to 48.3%, jumping from 52% in 2016 to 66% in 2020. That 14-percentage point increase outpaces that of all Americans, who jumped 6 percentage points from 61% to 67%,” according to the site.

Ivan Hopkins, a fourth-year business administration student and secretary of the FAMU chapter of the NAACP, believes students should pay attention to local politicians. 

“This election is important and matters, but we should focus on our local politics,” Hopkins said. “I think work can be more beneficial and impactful when we focus on how to uplift our communities and strive to promote political literacy.”

The upcoming election is sure to cause a new divide within an already divided country. College students have been shown to be more politically aware now more than ever, but that awareness has made many anxious for the upcoming results of the 2024 presidential election.