Students dissatisfied with candidates, remain indecisive


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Photo by Albert Lam |

School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Ameer Wright casts his vote for the 2009 election at the Busch Campus Center, one of the seven polling places for University students.


After a tight race between gubernatorial candidates Jon S. Corzine and Chris Christie, students on campus were equally as split between the two, with many stating they either did not vote because of dissatisfaction with the candidates or were not informed enough to make a decision.

Christie led Corzine by 49 to 44 percent at 11:28 p.m. last night, with 98 percent of the vote counted.

Rutgers College senior Eitan Levine was surprised to hear Christie was elected governor because he thought it would be a landslide victory for Corzine.

"For me, I was indifferent, I didn't vote … but it was a surprise nonetheless because I know what the public was expecting," he said.

But School of Arts and Sciences junior Brandon Broderick said he was not as surprised by Christie's win even though Democrats usually win in New Jersey.

"People were getting tired of Corzine's high taxes; he was going to do the whole tollbooth tax, they kind of were getting tired of him … so it makes sense," he said.

Many students were torn between the candidates.

"The way Corzine's been running things, it doesn't seem good. But after seeing Christie's plans, I'm not quite sure I support any [candidate]," said School of Arts and Sciences first-year student Allen Kung. "I support Corzine's suggested plans, but I'm not sure he's going to go through with them."

School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Danika Chari was one of many who could not choose between Corzine and Christie.

"I didn't really notice any huge improvements since [Corzine] was in office. I'm not saying I'm going toward one or the other, but maybe Chris Christie would be able to bring a different type of feel to New Jersey," she said.

Many students likened choosing between Corzine and Christie to deciding between the lesser of two evils, and Rutgers Business School first-year student Carey Ji said he leaned slightly more toward Corzine.

"I really don't like both of them, but if you really had to force me to choose, I would probably say Corzine," he said.

Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy first-year student Rich Burrell said he thought both candidates were about the same, and he did not vote.

"They might change small things here or there, but they'll both lead the state on about the same path," Burrell said.

He said he thinks Corzine has a façade of being for the hardworking, everyday man, yet he made his money at Goldman Sachs.

"I think he is in bed with the teacher's unions too much and he influences that a lot," Burrell said.

He said his mother is a teacher and has told him that Corzine tries to influence teacher's unions, saying that if they vote for him he will ensure health benefits.

"I don't like that heavy-handed propaganda," he said.

On the other hand, Burrell said he is bothered by the fact that as attorney general, Christie failed to attack corporate crime as much as he should have.

"I think that it's not good to have a person in office who spent eight years not trying to hunt down people who are taking in [bribes] … while being an attorney for New Jersey, I don't like that at all," he said.

Burrell said he would like to see a leader who will put the right kind of rules and regulations in place.

"I don't think that either party really has the nerve to actually [take on] these kinds of roles and implement those rules so I'm not a fan of either of them," he said.

Other students said they voted for Christie because they would like to see change in the state's government.

School of Engineering senior Sean Oshea said he voted for Christie and all of the Republican line.

"I would just like to see a shake-up in the government of New Jersey," he said. "The Virginia election and the New Jersey election are scheduled for the U.S. to kind of show the president what the country wants."

Oshea said he would like to see the state change direction and wants fiscal conservatism.

Douglass College senior Jennifer Perez said she also voted for Christie.

"I'm really disappointed in the job that Corzine did," Perez said. "He did a really horrible job [and he] dropped the ball on a lot of things."

She said college students are really feeling the brunt of Corzine's budget cuts.

"Having him come back into power or be re-elected is going to just keep the same problems that we have going on here," Perez said.

Exit polls conducted yesterday revealed the majority of Corzine voters ranged between ages 18 to 29, while Christie voters were 65 years and older, according to NJ.com. Voters 30 to 44 and 45 to 64 years old were split between both candidates.

Leading up to the election, many wondered what impact Independent Chris Daggett would have.

Rutgers Business School junior Bobby Brocco said he does not like Corzine or Christie, and thinks Daggett was the only candidate who could really bring change to the state.

Perez said she would not mind a Daggett win, but it is a long shot for an Independent candidate to win in New Jersey.

"I feel like voting for him would be kind of a wasted vote," she said.

 


Heather Brookhart

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