25 percent of millennials prefer meteor strike over Trump, Clinton, study finds
About a quarter of millennials would rather the Earth be struck by a meteor apocalypse than vote for any of the 2016 presidential nominees, according to a recent poll conducted by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Odyssey.
The poll asked 1,247 people between the ages 18-35 to choose between having Clinton for president, Trump for president, Barack Obama appointing himself to a life term, a lottery that chooses a random U.S. citizen to serve as president or a meteor strike that ends human life.
The results? About 39 percent of respondents preferred an Obama life term, 26 percent opted for a random lottery and 23 percent favored a meteor strike.
Ross Baker, a distinguished professor in the Department of Political Science, said a meteor strike is instantaneous, noting this election has gone on seemingly forever.
Millennials are not the only ones faced with this choice between paper and plastic, and are opting for a reusable bag or nothing at all, he said.
“The best that can be said of (Democratic nominee) Hillary Clinton is that she is conventional and I find that only mildly reassuring," Baker said. "(Republican nominee) Trump, with his suggestion that he might challenge the results of the election in the event of his defeat, deserves nothing but our scorn. He is a dangerous man."
Baker said he was equally disappointed with the third-party candidate options offered this cycle, calling Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson a “middle-aged stoner” whose only issue is weed legalization and mentioning Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s running mate, who called President Barack Obama “an Uncle Tom”.
“Those are the choices, and I wouldn't impugn the patriotism of an 18 year-old who decided to sit it out. I will vote, but damned reluctantly,” Baker said.
Baker’s sentiments are shared with some Rutgers students who are also disappointed with the election and have chosen not to vote at all.
Colin Chehanske, a School of Arts and Science junior, said he is not registered to vote because he is not interested in politics, but is interested to see what will happen after this election.
“They’re both leaders who aren’t exactly strong leaders,” Chehanske said. “Something interesting is going to happen.”
People are not happy with the two options that are being given, which explains the wishes from young voters preferring a meteor strike over either candidate, he said.
“I think it’ll cause, not chaos, but it’s gonna mix up the world, because the U.S. being a powerhouse and everything, if Trump wins or Hillary wins no matter what they do within the four years something big is going to happen,” Chehanske said.
Mucteba Gurcanli, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, is currently not a U.S. citizen, but has a green card and will apply to vote for the next election once he becomes a citizen.
The two choices in this election are between a crazy candidate and a corrupt one, so the next four years will not be good regardless of which one wins, Gurcanli said. If he could vote in this election, it would be for a third-party candidate.
“There's no good choice, so why bother voting for either of them?” he said.
School of Arts and Sciences senior Alan Chen also expressed his intentions not to vote.
“I would vote for third party, like Libertarian. But honestly, they say every vote counts, but I don’t think in this race it would count,” Chen said. “I think either (Clinton) or Trump is going to win.”
This election and the two candidates from the major parties are just popular opinions, and neither of them are capable of running the country properly, he said.
“The issue is in America, even though there's always been other parties, it’s always been two-party system. It’s always been Democrat and Republican,” Chen said. “When you ask people what political affiliation, they’re either Democrat or Republican. Nobody says Libertarian or other stuff.”
Chen said he does not think the two-party system will be changed anytime soon, but in future elections he plans to vote if there is a candidate he likes, regardless of party affiliation.
Bailey Backal, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, said he leaned towards Clinton until the debates and now has chosen not to vote.
“I was super interested in the whole thing, but after watching the debates I really can't decide,” Backal said. “I don’t know if I’d rather be hit by a meteor than choose anybody, but I’d rather just not vote at this point."
Backal said he supported Clinton at first because of her experience with Congress. After seeing the debates and watching each candidate attack each other, he cannot stand to vote for either of them.
“I started listening to their policies during the second debate after the first one kind of went down. That debate meant nothing to me,” Backal said. “I wish this wasn’t my experience of a first election.”
For Backal to change his mind and vote in this election it would take a miracle, he said, or about the same odds as a meteor hitting the Earth.
Nick Huber is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies. He is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. He can be found on Twitter @njhuber95Huber.