Editor’s note: Reporters from Writing and Reporting News I fanned out across the area to talk to voters about the issues that are most important to them in this presidential election. Here’s a collection of their interviews:
MSU freshman Darren Weiss, who identifies as a Republican, said there are two issues for him: jobs and taxes.
“I like Romney’s plan to bring back jobs,” said Weiss, of Birmingham, as he filled his gas tank recently at an East Lansing station. “Not taxing the rich as much will therefore create more money and jobs for the middle class, which I consider myself to be a part of.”
Then, as Weiss shook his head in confidence, he said, “You know, although it may have seemed like Obama would win this election in a landslide a few months ago, I think that Romney has snuck up on a lot of people, especially after that positive showing in the first presidential debate.”
— Max Gun
Alyssa Eastwood was at MSU’s Main Library studying economics — her major and the important issue to her in the presidential election.
Eastwood, a senior, considers herself a liberal, but said that in high school she was more conservative.
“But I didn’t really know what that meant,” she said. “College has opened me up to a lot of different things that maybe I didn’t let myself be more exposed to beforehand.”
She said the first presidential debate solidified her decision to vote for President Barack Obama.
“I just honestly can’t stand Mitt Romney,” she said.
Eastwood said she is looking for “someone that is just for everyone.”
“Whether it be equality in business, equality in marriage or equality for women,” she said.
— Emily Juszkowski
Kalila McCoy, and MSU sophomore majoring in Japanese, was among many students who tuned in to the presidential debates. She said she wanted to hear more about the candidates’ views on health care and taxes.
“I was most interested to hear them debate about taxes. It make me confident in my decision to vote for Obama,” McCoy said.
— Lindsay Benson
Cameron Mohyi, 17, will be voting in class rather than at a voting booth. He’s a student at West Bloomfield High School.
Mohyi said he hopes President Obama will win because “his policies are best for our country in this economic time.”
Mohyi, who describes himself as moderately liberal, said he knows more about the president than Romney because Obama is the incumbent.
— Jacqlyn Burnett
Lynne Krutty’s mom is a Democrat. Her dad is a Republican. She said both tried throughout her childhood to instill their believes in her.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that Krutty, an MSU Spanish sophomore, came into this election season as an undecided voter. This is her first presidential election.
“I’m not really sure whether to believe what the candidate says or what their opponent says,” Krutty said. “It’s really unclear what each person would actually do as president … and if the insults the other candidate says are actually true.”
Krutty said her political views are split between voting Democrat and Republican. She said she supported Obama’s health care and immigration reform plans, but favors Romney’s plan for the economy. On some issues however, Krutty said she is torn down the middle and sees positives in both sides.
— Maleah Egelston
MSU communication sophomore Kiley Edwards said listening to the political drama of politics on top of school and work has been tiring.
Edwards, a native of Lake Orion, Mich, said she was raised with Republican ideals. She said that she does not like or agree with Obama.
“I think that what we are doing isn’t working, so why not try something else?” Edwards said.
“I want a more promising president and much more honesty.”
— Laura Genouw
James Madison freshman Matt Sobecki, an Ohio native, said he plans to vote for Mitt Romney. This will be his first time voting in a presidential election.
“I’ve grown up in a Republican family and I am very fiscally conservative,” Sobecki said. “I just don’t like the direction the country is going in under Obama.”
Sobecki said he disagrees with Obama about “just about everything,” except for most social issues, like gay marriage.
— Gabriela Saldivia
Kevin Guenther, a mathematics senior at MSU, said he is looking out for his own well-being this election.
“Being able to get a job after I spent a great deal of time and money training for one is important,” Guenther said. “Job creation is an issue that will affect me after I graduate.”
This will be Guenther’s second time voting, but his first since entering the job market.
The MSU senior also said choice of Supreme Court justices and foreign policy are important because of their impact on local and national laws and the global economy, respectively.
“As members of the global community, we must be able to adapt to new laws and work with the world at large,” Guenther said.
— Nick Somoski
Miranda Shaver, a human biology sophomore at MSU student, said social issues are the most important matters for her. She said she most agrees with Obama’s views on the matters.
“Obama is pro-choice and freedom of religion and everything like that, so I feel like that’s important to me,” said Shaver.
She said that women should be allowed to decide what to do with their own bodies.
— Santiago Montiel
On the corner of Charles Street and Grand River Avenue, Richard Galutia squinted against the sunlight as he talked about the issues in this year’s election. Galutia said he believes the biggest problem in the country is the economy.
“I think a lot of people are without work,” Galutia said. “People are really struggling out there. You see people hurting and, without jobs, it doesn’t seem like things are going to turn around.”
Galutia is a 53-year-old consultant originally from York, Penn. He said the past four years he has been doing well, but he doesn’t gauge the country based on how he is doing.
“I know I’m fortunate and I know that a lot of people aren’t,” he said.
— Andrea Raby
MSU psychology freshman Amber Chapman said a key issue for her is ensuring government assistance remains available for those in need.
“(Critics) feel like Obama is wasting money and personally I don’t think so,” said Chapman, of Detroit. “Personally I know welfare has helped me in the past.”
Chapman said people who have always been in the higher class aren’t going to relate to someone who is in the middle or lower class. She said she believes Obama understands where she is coming from, more so than Romney can.
Chapman praised an Obama Administration’s pilot program to expand free school lunches to all students in schools where at least 40 percent of students are low-income.
She said the program was “a great relief on everyone’s families.”
— Erin Smith
International relations freshman Delanie Thurlow said she believes one of the big issues in the presidential election is education.
“My mom is a teacher and all her benefits and stuff are getting cut and I don’t think that’s fair,” Thurlow said as she sat in the Wilson Hall lobby. “And I know Mitt Romney (is) wanting to cut them even more and I think education is the biggest part of society.”
Thurlow said she thought education was so important because that is where the future leaders in society are being made.
“We can’t have stupid kids, so I think teachers should be paid a lot more,” Thurlow said.
— Erin Smith
Hannah Jenuwine, a social relations and policy sophomore, said taxes and job creation are the most important issues.
“We need to know that we have jobs to go to after we finish here,” she said.
After watching the first presidential debate on domestic policy, Jenuwine said she wanted to know more Mitt Romney’s tax plan Obama’s thoughts on college tuition.
— Kati McArdle