Midterm post

Eugene: Not entirely liberal this fall

With Elections soon approaching, public transit patrons share their varying opinions on current politics, both national and local

By SHELBY HAWKINSON

Eugene, Ore. – With Election Day merely weeks away, political candidates, measures, and issues are abuzz. So it can be assumed that Eugene citizens are all left-leaning liberal hippies, right?

Wrong.

Despite Eugene’s typically liberal reputation, Eugene community members’ political leanings and opinions seem to vary this election season. Public transit patrons using the Lane Transit District city buses claimed to be left-leaning, right-leaning, or admitted that they were unsure which way to lean in general.

Oz Thomas, vendor of the self-proclaimed Obama Fashion booth, openly expressed who would be getting his vote this November. “Election is expressing what true people are about,” Thomas said. “I try to find truth in it all.”

Thomas visits many local schools selling his product, t-shirts emblazoned with the face of current president and re-election hopeful, Barack Obama. Despite his outward support for Obama, Thomas has a respectful and courteous perspective on the election parties as he tries to “embrace differences of other parties.”

While some individuals are confident and trust in today’s political parties and figures, others are not. University sophomore Kendall Brooke was unsure of her political stance and the issues. Despite her uncertainty, Brooke planned on casting her vote for “probably Romney, because of my parents” in the national election. Like Brooke, most undecided, young voters vote along with their parents’ political views.

Similar to Brooke, LTD employee Kiyo Clark was currently unsure of where and to whom his votes would go this fall. “I haven’t even studied the ballots,” Clark said. “I’m a last-minute type of person.”

Because of Clark’s intensive five-days-a-week bus schedule, he claims he hasn’t had the time to learn about the candidates or the issues. Along with his uncertainty, Clark also doubted the two frontrunners of the national election claiming, “I don’t think I would vote for either one, but I have to choose.”

University of Oregon employee, Candace Sumner has a left-leaning political perspective but is glad election season is almost over. “Campaigns are very misleading,” Sumner said. “It’s difficult to really know exactly what the information really is. I get tired of it.”

The physical therapist expressed her interest in both national and local politics, noting her specific interest for Oregon Ballot Measure 81. Measure 81 would affect the types of nets used for commercial fishing in the Columbia River. Sumner claims she would prefer a “healthier way of catching fish.” Aside from her own political views, Sumner encouraged voting in general. “Vote,” Sumner said. “Just vote.”

Even though the area isn’t entirely liberal there is still a strong support for a left-leaning stance on current issues.

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