This year’s presidential candidates are leaving people in Manhattan unsure and worried about the future of the country as national security is threatened and Donald Trump continues his atypical and to many offensive campaign, according to a poll conducted by Hunter College students last week in New York City.
Nine out of ten people surveyed agreed that threats to national security and stopping ISIS should be the country’s top priority. The poll suggests an overwhelming uncertainty about the candidates and a hope that problems surrounding terrorism and threats to national security will be swiftly addressed, ninety percent of those polled unsure of who they will vote for. “I have been following this year’s elections, it’s bad,” said Sarah Bernstein, 42, a Republican who runs her own driving school in Brooklyn, said in an interview. “All of the candidates are not respectable and don’t seem capable so I don’t even know who I will be voting for, it’s worrying.”
Younger voters also shared similar views on the candidates. Jordan Shay, a 24-year-old working in real estate, described this year’s election as a “shit show”. “I least hate Bernie so I registered as a Democrat so I can vote for him,” Shay said.
Donald Trump’s forward campaign strategy, Bernie Sanders’ past in politics, and Hillary Clinton’s scandals, though labeled as one of the more entertaining election years, have left voters unsure of the country’s future elected president. What most voters are sure of however, is that the issue of terrorism needs to be handled and dealt with promptly, as national security is being threatened and Americans feel the government is focusing their energy on less important issues. “Security needs to be amped up. The extremists who commit these strikes obviously don’t care about anyone and don’t discriminate on who they kill so even though this may be discriminatory towards Muslims, they should be highly secured. It’s still absurd that those on the suspect lists are committing crimes and the FBI just say there are too many to keep track, it’s their job to keep track of those people and instead we are more concerned with small issues,” said Alex Markel, 22, a Republican student.
Ninety-five percent of the 30 adults polled said that they would prefer Bernie Sanders to win if they had to choose, but would vote Clinton as the “lesser of two evils”, if she ran against Donald Trump.
Ninety-eight percent of those polled agreed that they weren’t fans of any of the candidates, but would chose the lesser of two evils. Haylie Wilkins, a 21-year-old student in New York who described herself as a Democrat, was part of the 1 percent who would vote for Hillary Clinton. “I have been following this year’s election and the Republican candidates are terrible. The whole campaign for that party is a mess. Their ideas and policies are regressive and harmful, a hundred steps back for our country. On the Democratic side, it’s a bit more sane. Bernie is passionate but doesn’t have realistic ides of how to get anything done, nor does his history in congress show him to be a strong dealmaker. Hillary Clinton has the most experience and seems most likely to get the nomination and win in a general election.”
Ninety-nine percent of those surveyed said that they would not vote for Trump under any circumstance. “I don’t care to elaborate on Trump, if we give him more attention he will get worse, he is a reality star,” said Irissa Cisternino, 23, a Democrat who works in the city.
Ninety-eight percent of the adults polled were for equal rights and 95 percent believed the issue of abortion should be kept out of politics all together. Despite differing personal opinions, Americans agreed that women should have the choice to do what they please with their bodies, and are glad gay people are being allowed equal marriage rights as straight people.
John Fiacco, 27, a Democrat working as a researcher in Washington, expressed that Trump was only inciting more issues and making things even more turbulent for the United State’s reputation.
Ninety-five percent of those polled said they worried about ISIS and the worsening terror attacks. “The issue of terrorism is scary, seems like nothing is getting better, only getting worse and worse- I don’t know what we can do to better the situation if I’m honest but something needs to be done because these bombings are getting out of hand. Innocent people are dying and I’m tired of hearing about a new terror attack everyday, it’s terrifying. We need to focus on these serious issues regarding public safety instead of the debates surrounding abortion and gay marriage,” said Lea Vardan, 22, a Democrat who studies finance at Pace University.
The 2015 Paris attacks were a brutal reminder of the danger of terrorism to the West, mainly from jihadist groups such as ISIS. In 2014, 32,700 people were killed in attacks worldwide, nearly twice as many as in 2013, according to The Economist. With stats like these, three-fourths of those surveyed agreed that they are hoping the new president is equipped to find a solution. Rachel Bergen, a 22-year-old student in New York, said she hoped the new president would continue to better the country. “I just hope whoever the new president is deals with terrorism first and tries to keep our country out of any wars.”
Ninety-nine percent of those surveyed agreed that Trump’s campaign tactics were offensive and regressive to the country’s image. “Trump will sever our foreign alliances and ties,” said Yonique Providence, 27, a Liberal who works as a family court specialist in Canada. “Trump will only make the issue of national security worse, ISIS is more arrogant and deadlier than Al Queada and Trump is just taunting them.”
Thirty people were surveyed throughout Manhattan. Eighteen of those polled were women and 12 men, 15 Democrat, 6 Republican, and the rest unsure and not registered.