Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Reacts: possible repetition of 2020 election

UMass community members share opinions on a possible rematch between Trump and Biden

The 2020 presidential election featured a race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. With the possible repeat of the exact two candidates up against each other for a second time, we asked members of the University of Massachusetts community how they would feel about a possible repeat of the 2020 election.

Tatishe Nteta, provost political science professor and director of the UMass Amherst Poll, shared some insights that the poll discovered: “The polling that we have done indicates that there’s not a high level of enthusiasm for the two candidates that are likely going to be the representatives of the Democratic and Republican Party.”

Nteta said he feels that it is important for him to vote because his parents did not have the opportunity to do so. “This is an opportunity that [has not] always been, at least historically been given to all Americans. So, whenever I participate, I recognize the privilege it is to have your voice heard.”

Patrick Gilligan, a senior political science major here at UMass, shared that he feels young people are apathetic to vote because both Biden and Trump are of older age, describing them as “two candidates that are practically senile running the country.”

To add to this, Nteta stated that younger generations of Americans view voting as one of the least effective means to achieve political goals and change, which is why they are more likely to protest because they view it as mobilization of public opinion.

Whether it is on campus or through social media, younger people, such as UMass students, may see speaking out about their beliefs as a more effective means to achieve the change they desire rather than voting.

Freshman political science and public policy major Tony Martocci described America as non-democratic, because the US only has two options when voting for the president, making the country “twice as democratic as North Korea.” He said that in America you can basically only vote for Biden if you disagree with Trump, and that’s not very democratic.

The Democrats should push forward a more powerful candidate, Martocci said, one that will beat Trump and have a voter base that feels confident about giving their vote to such a candidate.

Martocci is registered to vote but doesn’t think he will vote, because Massachusetts has been a blue state for the past 50 years.

“But like, what does my vote matter? It’s a blue state. I don’t think we voted red for like 50 years at this point… I just don’t see a need to go vote when I already know who’s gonna win in Massachusetts,” Martocci said.

He also described voting in this election as voting for the person that may or may not die, and it would just cause a “social conundrum of which one of your family members you want permanently hating you.”

Young Americans fear what Donald Trump may bring to office if he is elected again. “He’s just an enigma. Everything he does appears to be self-serving and to skirt the law. He does shady deals. He’s just not who we want to represent the country,” Giligan said.

Giligan added that there is no antithesis to the MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement for President Biden, it just seems like voters are choosing the lesser of two evils. “There is no hardcore Biden base, there’s no extremist Biden supporters. So basically, everyone seems to be on the same page that, ‘Okay, this guy is not great, but he’s better than Trump and he’s a more rational, reasonable person…’”

Martocci, Gilligan and other young constituents are upset they are unable to vote for a candidate that they like, because they are not given the option of someone stronger and more trustworthy than Trump and Biden.

“The repetition of two dying old men as candidates is a really good synonym for what the state of American democracy is,” Martocci said.

For further predictions on the upcoming election, Nteta thinks, “structurally we’ll see some of the same dynamics we saw in 2020 and then we’ll see some new things.” He also said many Americans expressed some fear that in the aftermath of this election there will be violence similar to how there was in 2020. While the outcome of the election remains unpredictable, it is obvious that enthusiasm for voting among some UMass students is noticeably lacking.

Daniella Pikman can be reached at [email protected]

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