Survey finds EC students will vote outside of party lines in presidential elections

(Illustration by Amarelis Morales)

Not everyone is happy with the two-party system, and Elmhurst College students are no exception.

This year’s election cycle has a number of EC students dissatisfied with their own party candidates. As a result, many students are voting outside their party.

A recent survey of 241 students concludes that 21 percent of EC student respondents who are Republican will be voting outside of their party.

161 of the total 241 respondents claimed to be Democrats; 11 percent of the Democrat students will be voting for a third party. Two percent will be voting for the rival party, and seven percent are not voting for their party's candidate, yet are undecided.

In parallel, 16 percent of the 90 Republican respondents will be voting for a third party, three percent will be voting for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and 13 percent are not voting for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but are undecided as to who they will vote for.

While Clinton seems to be ahead of Trump in generating young voter sentiment, both major party candidates are not popular among millennials. EC students are no exception.

Freshman Noah Pearson among the numerous Democrats in the EC community that previously supported Bernie Sanders and is reluctant about voting for his own party in the general election. However, he feels that despite the fraudulent aspects of the Democratic Party, Trump's lack of political experience and destructive ideologies far outweigh Clinton's faults.

"I think that while the Democratic Party is corrupt, racist, and uses vague pendery language, Trump is a bigot with no background in politics and is representative of a dark and far more corrupt part of American politics," Pearson said.

Sophomore Jenna Houk, who is a Republican, will be voting for a third party candidate because of Trump's lack of clarity on some issues and because of Trump's highly controversial remarks on women and minorities.

"Trump has his faults, I believe he rants a lot and doesn't have a clear idea of what he's going to do," she said. "And when he does have an idea he's very ignorant."

Freshman Ronald Carter who is a Democrat disagrees and prefers Trump over Clinton.

"Trump will improve the economy because of his good business knowledge," he said.

Furthermore, Carter feels that Trump's stance on education reform, tax cuts, and energy policies will further benefit the country.

Nationally, more young voters plan to vote for third party candidates. According to The Atlantic, "two major polls have found that more than one-third of voters under the age of 30 plan to vote for either Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson or the Green Party's Jill Stein instead of either Clinton or Trump in November."

However, it seems that many students feel that by voting for a third party candidate, it would increase their rival party's chance of winning this year's presidential election.

"I would be most comfortable voting for Jill Stein, but I do not want to do this at the risk of Trump winning," Pearson said.

"I'm very tempted to vote for a third party candidate this election because their ideals align closer to my own," said sophomore Johnathan Prehn. "However, I think I'm voting Democrat, only because I don't want to split the vote."

Trump and Clinton certainly prove to be quite unpopular candidates among Millennials and such anti-sentiment attitudes are representative of the student body at EC.