by Phil Howard
The 2012 presidential election is nearing its Nov. 6 end, and it appears that neither
candidate has gained a significant edge in recent polls. The state of Oregon has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in the last six elections. According to a recent survey conducted outside of local businesses in Eugene, the Amazon neighborhood is following that trend.
Four of the five people surveyed said that they have voted or are planning on voting for Barack Obama.
The lone Mitt Romney supporter, Shelley Hurlburt, said she voted Republican because she believed that Obama distorts facts regarding the military, but added, “I think it’ll be a close election because I think they actually believe in a lot of the same things.”
She believed that both parties have not done a very good job of keeping their campaigns honest.
Ellen Bondurant, an Obama supporter, said that it was the Romney campaign that was less-than-truthful. “Too many dirty tricks are going on from the other side,” she said, speaking of voter restrictions in some states.
Beth Eldridge had strong feelings regarding the Romney campaign when asked about the election. “The Republican Party has done everything they could to make [Obama] fail,” she said. “It’s very close to treason.”
“I think they did everything they could to make the economy not get better so we would vote for them in the next election,” she said. “That’s just slimy and unpatriotic.”
Tim Andrews, when surveyed outside of the Albertsons on Hilyard Street , admitted to
not closely following the election coverage and only hearing about the candidates from word of mouth. “I definitely think that Obama is better than Romney. That’s for sure,” he said, but then quickly added, “I don’t think either is that great, though.”
Another supporter of the president, John Trant, said that the upcoming election was one of the most important in history, and that he is not being swayed by the Romney campaign. “When Mitt Romney says something that is supposed to shock me into not voting Obama, I’m like, ‘Oh really?’ It makes me almost more active,” he said.
Trant’s interest in voting didn’t end at the federal level. He also voiced his support for Oregon’s incumbent Democrat Peter DeFazio in the upcoming congressional race. He called DeFazio’s opponent, Art Robinson, a “crackpot pseudo-scientist.”
Trant said that he doesn’t follow Oregon’s ballot measures too closely. “I think a lot of times ballot measures are, sadly, really over petty crap,” he said, but added that he is keeping an eye on Measure 82, which would authorize the establishment of private casinos, but didn’t say which outcome he preferred.
Measure 80–the legalization of marijuana–did not give a clear prediction based on the Amazon survey. Bondurant and Hurlburt were against the measure, while Andrews and Eldridge were in favor. Trant said that he was still undecided on the issue.
The one thing that each person surveyed could agree on was that they felt the election was not a civil one between the two major candidates.
When asked if they would vote for a third party candidate if they believed he or she had a reasonable chance to be elected, Eldridge said, “I’d love it if the Green Party would expand its focus a little bit so that they can really represent a broad range.”
Hurlburt said that she wouldn’t change her affiliation if she believed another party could compete for the presidency.