Ames buzzes on Election Night

NBC correspondent Luke Russert begins his live broadcast to viewers around the world with ISU students in the background, Tuesday, Nov. 6, from Linden Hall. Russert commentated on the current polling status and other aspects of the election throughout the evening.

Liz Polsdofer and Eric Debner

When the presidential campaign called for the nation to vote, the youth populus responded in kind by breaking records in terms of voter registration and turnouts. With many students at Iowa State voting for the first time there was passion in the air as many students gathered at bipartisan, College Republican, and College Democratic watch parties.

For Shaun McCarthy, freshman in mechanical engineering, the 2012 Presidential Election was the first time he said he was interested in politics. McCarthy said he visited the bipartisan watch party held in Linden Hall to get both sides of the story. Are concern is that students are misinformed, but bipartisan parties allows students to still get to see what the other party thinks.

McCarthy and several other students were joined by NBC Capitol Hill Correspondent, Luke Russert. Russert chose to spend Election Day in Ames, IA because of the atmosphere of Iowa during the election season and the spirit of politics fostered at Iowa State.

“It’s exciting to be on a college campus, especially one as large as Iowa State and one that has such a rich history participating, not only in Iowa politics, but also national politics,” Russert said.

Bailey Price, freshman in event management and marketing, also voted for the first time this election. The excitement for Price was there was no definite prediction that any one candidate would be president. Price believes that it is important that everyone has a say in who is the next president.

“The thing that people say about our generation is that we don’t vote, we don’t care enough but you come to places like Iowa State today,” Russert said. “I heard there was hour long lines to vote on campus and record registration, it’s just a wonderful thing to see.”

Kyle Etzel, junior in business and chairman of College Republicans said students should utilize their right to vote in every election, not just once every four years.

“It’s our civic duty,” said Etzel. “If you don’t participate, you forfeit your say in [governmental affairs].”

Sam Gire, a senior in pre-veterinary, believes split vote within the republican party between Ron Paul and Romney supporters maybe why the election is so tight.

Kylie Thompson, a junior in dietetics and attendee of the College Democrat viewing party, thinks it is important for students to vote in this election because the past four years that Obama has been in office has been leading up to something.

“Four years isn’t enough time to give the President to change policies,” Thompson said.

With one of the tightest elections in history the youth vote has proven to politicians and the nation the strength of their voice.

“It’s neat to meet so many kids who are so concerned, I would say, about the future of the country and so engaged in a civil manner,” Russert said. “It’s always heartwarming to see that.”