With the election four days away, many students seem ready to make their opinions known regarding the presidential race. As the Harvard Institute of Politics noted in their Oct. 17 survey of more than 1,200 undergraduates across the country, a growing number of college students favor Senator John Kerry over incumbent President George W. Bush – the lead has grown from 10 percentage points to 13 points since March. While the poll was being taken, the presidential race was a dead heat, according to a poll by ABC News. Additionally, the report cited that 91 percent of those surveyed care “a good deal” about who wins the presidential election, and that 87 percent say that they are “following the campaign closely.”This finding appears to be the case at UR, as political discussions have dominated dining halls, dorm rooms and classrooms across campus.”I am voting for Kerry,” senior Ethan Craig said in between bites of his chicken cheesesteak in the Pit. “I came to like him a lot after the debates. Whoever wins, I hope that it is a clear win – otherwise I fear for our democratic process itself.”Freshman Gus Navarrete, who recently moved from Puerto Rico and cannot vote in this election, views gay marriage as one of the most important issues of the election. “I think gay marriage is important and I know both candidates are against it, but in the debates, Bush said he didn’t know if being gay was a choice,” Navarrete said. “For me it’s not very important, but for other people in the gay community, it’s very important.” Navarrete has a brother currently serving in Iraq, and wants Bush to lose the election. “Maybe Kerry has the same interests as Bush [like going to war for oil], but at least he would do it [correctly],” Navarrete said. Sophomore Deep Ambrose takes a more balanced approach toward the war in Iraq. “When we’re attacking Iraq, other Arabs get mad at us, but on the other hand, maybe taking out Saddam [helped],” he said. “It seems to be a question of if the [United States] is a global peacekeeper,” Ambrose said.Support for the Iraq war has reached an all time low among college students, according to the IOP, and “more students oppose having gone to war than support it.”Junior Deste Relyea voted for Kerry on his absentee ballot, and wants everyone to make an informed decision in voting in order to express his or her opinion. “I’m thinking Bush might take it, but I would want Kerry to win,” senior and Egyptian citizen Mohamed Zohny said. “I think Bush is going to steal the election like he did with Gore.”Additional reporting by Jeff Keesing and Cyrus Levesque.Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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