One of the main complaints about our political system is that it has become too polarized. It is difficult to pick one of the two candidates because they are so extremely one-sided, and a legitimate third party candidate is needed.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 17, the students of the Political Science 403 class, The Presidency, hosted a mock presidential debate from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Robbins Center featuring candidates from the two major parties as well as an independent.
In addition to the three candidates, other students were given responsibilities – such as moderator, fact-checker or campaign manager.
The mock debate was moderated by senior Austin Eickhoff with junior Sam Cooper acting as the designated fact-checker, who checked any statistic or assumption the candidate made. He put the amount of error or truth to each statement on the screen above the candidates.
Each candidate was given one minute and 40 seconds to answer each questions. After each had spoken, the first two speakers had a chance to rebut for either 60 or 30 seconds each if both chose to rebut.
The Democratic Party candidate, senior Mike Goodrow, took advantage of his time throughout the debate. The moderator stopped him short on most of the questions.
The candidates had very differing opinions on the first question on how to solve the federal deficit, besides the consensus that there needs to be a tax cut for the middle-class. there needs to be a tax cut for the middle-class.
The Republican candidate junior Marcus Davis, said repealing the Affordablecare Act was the best option. It hasn’t lowered costs and it should be up to the states to decide whether they want it or not.
The Independent candidate, non-degree seeking student Johnathan Lohmann, had an interesting idea to lower the high unemployment numbers. His plan involved having the government find jobs suited to the individuals out of work. If those looking for work decline the position for them, then the government could decline their unemployment benefits.
After the debate, managers for each campaign were able to talk to media in order to try and spin the stories in their candidate’s favor.
Junior Carolyn Campbell acted as the independent manager, while senior Alex Hendee was the Democrat manager and senior Hawk Rouse was the manager for the Republican candidate.
“We had the debaters, who prepared themselves very well, they were knowledgeable about their subjects, they stayed true to what their party’s platforms were. We had their campaign surrogates who gave their best effort to try to spin the coverage in their candidates favor. I thought the moderator and fact checker did fine job too. I am really proud of what the students have done. Debates can seem like a very seamless easy thing to put on when you watching on t.v., but a lot of preparation went into this by every student involved,” said Chapman Rackaway, the professor of the POLS 403 class.