The 2016 race for Oval Office has been one of the most debated elections in all of American history. The multitude of candidates who ran during the past two years have sparked controversy amongst voters, but none so more than the finalists: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Their very names evoke discontent and frustration for the people of this country, Liberals and Conservatives alike. Yet, the United States political system is a democratic one; it was the American people who selected these two candidates, which begs the question, how did the country end up with two presidential nominees who very few seem to like? Students have asked themselves this question.
“People weren’t engaged in the election earlier on when the presidential nominees were being voted for candidacy,” freshman Adam Macro said. “Mostly because of the lack of participation, we’re stuck with these candidates.”
As a big personality, Trump was an obvious target for internet mockery and Saturday Night Live skits. Most major network news coverage of the election was, for a significant period of time, Trump making statements that some consider to be outlandish.
According to CNN, the first presidential debate, held on September 26, set the record for most watched debate in history with over 80 million viewers. America’s response to Trump, a seemingly “love him or hate him” attitude, stems from the fact that his over-the-top behavior overshadowed the other candidates and allowed him to rise to the top.
“The media blows things out of proportion. They’re very hyperbolic,” senior Samantha Contreras said. “If Trump says a comment about somebody, they make it seem like he sent out death threats.”
For Clinton, some argue that her past misdeeds should have prevented her from proceeding this far into the race in the first place. The infamous email scandal, deemed “extremely careless” by the FBI, was enough to turn some voters off of her, but while Trump had to debate against a cavalcade of nominees in the primaries, Clinton had only one: Bernie Sanders.
“On the Democratic side, there were really only two candidates,” sophomore James Bayus said. “Bernie Sanders was a socialist and that scared people off, so all of the votes went to Hillary.”
Bayus, frustrated with both candidates, understands that voters will simply vote for which party generally aligns more with their beliefs in true “lesser of two evils” scenario.
“There is a mindset of what people think is right for the country,” junior Alexia Galicia said. “It’s going to be a close election.”