US 2020

What’s it like for Ohio’s student voters in this divisive US Election

  • For the coverage of the US Election, NQ reporters are working alongside students from Ohio University
  • It’s clear the election has been impacted by significant events such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Whoever wins, America has been very much divided by the campaigns

It’s election day and the tensions are extremely high for US citizens awaiting the outcome of the Presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The 2016 election highlighted the importance of the result in swing states such as Michigan, Arizona, Philadelphia and Texas.

Ohio, although carring only 18 electoral votes, is a key swing state. And one in which no Republican presidential nominee, since the party was founded in the 1850s, has won or been re-elected to the presidency without winning in Ohio. 

For many US students, this is their first time voting in a Presidential election, although they have been involved in federal elections once they turned 18. Many are voting for policies that support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, that has become extremely significant since the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Rebekah Green, a student at Ohio University, described this election as: “very divisive”, due to the very different personalities that are competing. She believes it’s difficult for US citizens who are trying to understand the facts. She said: “The sources that people rely on are more entertainment based and skirt over the information that people need to hear to make an informed decision.

“The election has caused a very polarised society. It is an intense political climate.”

The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact, affecting people’s choices about who they want to vote for because the handling of the pandemic has created a lot of tension between US Citizens.

Students told us that people across America are preparing for a violent aftermath to the election, whatever the results, with shops boarding up windows and students stocking up on food in case they are told to stay indoors.

What’s clear is that this election is like no other and has been affected by much more than the personalities of the two presidential candidates.

The divisions between Republicans and Democrats are intense. In the end it will all come down to who has the majority in each of the states. All eyes are on Ohio which has voted for the winning presidential candidate in 28 of the past 30 elections, dating back to 1896 (the exceptions were 1944 and 1960). It’s the best ‘winning percentage’ of any state over that timeframe. But will they vote the President this time?  

Make sure to follow the NQ coverage of the US election which will begin at 23:30 on 3 November.