Race closer than expected

Regardless of the ways used to identify likely voters, one thing remains the same: Senator Barack Obama maintains a significant lead over Senator John McCain, in the latest Gallup Poll out Oct. 22.

The results show Obama with a 51% to 42% lead over McCain. In order for McCain to win this election, he must win the key swing states which are New Hampshire, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Montana, and Nevada.

After a week of political fun and games: from Joe the Plumber becoming nationally famous (even though he doesn’t have an actual plumber’s license) to Sarah Palin bobbing her head to her own “beat down” on SNL, the pressure is on McCain to pull ahead in the polls, and the pressure is on Obama to maintain his lead.

The Presidential debate was also a significant moment in voter’s minds, with the general public saying that Obama had won.

“I think they [the debates] played a big role in helping people make their decision on who they should vote for,” said Salwa Jarrar, a full-time Skyline student who supports Obama. “They give voters an opportunity to see the future president in action.”

With Oct. 20 being the deadline to vote in California, an overwhelming amount of young voters turned out to let themselves be heard. Obama has a large following of youth voters between the ages of 18-29 with 62% to McCain’s 34% of young voters.

“I think young voters are voting for Obama more because they think he’s cool, and because he is young,” Jarrar said. “And because he appeals to the idea of change, and young voters are really into that right now.”

In the last few days, there have been many new developments to each campaign, both helping and possibly hurting the candidates. Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State in the Republican Bush administration, has announced his endorsement for Democrat Barack Obama, crossing party lines. Although this is a major development, some students believe that Powell’s endorsement doesn’t necessarily help or hurt Obama.

“It’s interesting because I don’t know why Powell did it,” said Tim Washington, a part-time Skyline student. “But I do think that race played a part in it. It may help sway some conservative African American voters, but for the most part, I don’t think his endorsement will do much.”

Also, many viewers of the latest Saturday Night Live, that Sarah Palin appeared on believed it hurt McCain, instead of help him. Washington, who supports Obama, feels that the presidential race should be about the presidents, not the vice presidents.

“I don’t know why Palin went on Saturday Night Live,” said Washington. “I wouldn’t go on a comedy show right before an election because freedom of speech really exposed her. But it’s a double edged sword.”

Whatever the outcome of this election, it is fast approaching, leaving some Skyline students to worry about the outcome, and hope for the best.

“I just hope that whoever is elected president will do their best to help stabilize the economy, and get the United States back on track,” Jarrar said. “It shouldn’t be about the party, it should be about the better person winning.”