By Ellin Youse
Whether it was Michelle Obama’s voice interrupting a Pandora Internet Radio station to talk about her husband, or Paul Ryan promoting his running mate on Twitter, students had no option in following this year’s presidential election.
With the campaigns hitting social media, when President Barack Obama won a second term as president last Tuesday night, Ohio Wesleyan students, like junior Jacob Beach, had a lot to say about it.
“I was ecstatic when I heard the news Mr. Obama was re-elected as president, but being in a battleground state, I can speak for many when I say, I am glad the election is over,” Beach said.
“Not because of the outcome, but because those political ads will finally stop appearing on the T.V., radio and before every YouTube video I watch.”
Battleground states were especially important this election, as the presidential race was continually close throughout the election season.
The New York Times predicted a 49.8 percent chance Ohio, a battleground stae with 18 Electoral College votes, would decide the election on Nov. 6, greater than any other state’s potential to influence the election.
The Times’ prediction held true after CNN announced Tuesday at midnight Obama would remain president, only moments after reporting Ohio turned blue.
This marked the second time Ohio’s Electoral College votes had gone blue for Obama.
Ohio wasn’t the only state that might have changed the tide of the election. Mixed rumors were coming in about which way Florida, a notorious battleground state, would go.
Even after Obama had earned the required 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency for a second term, Florida was still counting votes to determine which way it would swing.
In the end, Florida went blue for Obama, as it did in the 2008 presidential election.
By the time California’s 55 Electoral College votes went to Obama, it was official that he had been re-elected.
Obama won both the popular and electoral vote, raking in 313 Electoral College votes and 50.8 percent of the popular vote.
Romney received 225 Electoral votes, and 48.3 percent of the popular vote.
After the announcement of Obama’s re-election, cheers and boos alike reverberated through the various hallways of OWU’s dormitories as students celebrated or mourned the fate of their favored candidate.
“For election day I had two computer monitors on different electoral maps and CBS blaring on my T.V. screen,” Beach said.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to watch it because I was so nervous, but I did anyways and did not regret it.
“Once Ohio went blue I heard all sorts of cheers and car horns from outside my window.
“I stayed up way too late watching the speech afterwards, both Romney’s and Obama’s.
“I must say though, as something that happens once every four years and has a large impact on my life, it was worth going to class a little tired the next day.”
Senior Carly Hallal said although she didn’t have much of a great feeling for either candidate in the election, she was relieved when Obama was reelected.
“I didn’t like Romney’s foreign policies or women’s rights policies either, (and), quite frankly, they were almost scary,” Hallal said.
“What I think is more important, though, is for America to try to become less polarized.
“Part of the complaint with Obama was that he did not do anything the past four years — well I’m sure it’s hard to get a lot done when the other party is constantly opposing you.
“I can’t stress enough how much I disagree with bipartisan politics and how much we need to do away with this to move forward.”
Hallal and Beach were two of nine students selected to drive in President Obama’s motorcade from Rickenbacker airport to the Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus for President Obama’s last campaign rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z.
The students each drove a van filled with Obama staffers, campaign coordinators and photographers in the motorcade.
“We had the entire highway closed off to us and were driving 80 plus mph to get to the Nationwide Arena where the president was to give a speech and Bruce and Jay Z were performing,” Hallal said.
“Once we got there, Obama was rushed to a press line.”
Hallal said she was suprised at Obama’s demeanor.
“We got to meet him shortly after and take a picture with him,” she said.
“He was so genuinely nice and relaxed.
“I have no idea how he would be able to be so relaxed considering the fate of the country and lets face it, the world, partially relies on his shoulders and he was about to give a huge speech and the election was happening the next day.”
Unlike Beach and Hallal, sophomore Karli Sturgil said she was “really anxious” when Obama was re-elected.
Sturgil said while she is greatly concerned with the economy under Obama, she is staying positive about the future of America over the next four years.
“I was pretty freaked out and stressed when I heard Obama was re-elected,” Strugil said. “But at the end of the day, I’m an American first.
“While I worry about some of the people I know back home being affected by Obama’s healthcare and economic plans, I’ve been comfortable in my life this past four years and I’m pretty confident that will continue.”
In his concession speech election night, Mitt Romney thanked supporters like Sturgil while wishing the best for Obama.
“Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field,” Romney said.
“We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction.
But the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation,” he said.