JMU Students React to Facebook's Debates

By: Keith Jones Email
By: Keith Jones Email

The Presidential Debate over the weekend attracted a young crowd, in spite of NFL Wildcard games because of Facebook.

Hundreds of thousands of users voted and submitted questions for the candidates, and 79 percent say the website gave them a better sense of who they'll vote for.

"I don't get a chance to watch the news, and I feel like Facebook would reach more people than the news would," says Kate Nash, a Health Science major at James Madison University.

"Actually I think it is a good idea, because voter turnout is actually so low, and I think it's a great way to get students involved, especially younger people," says Caitlin Scarano, an English major.

"I did like the fact that they were trying to involve the college students, because we are the next generation," says Kahlan Murray.

Nearly half of the users on Facebook wish the candidates had spent more time on fixing the economy, but that's not the only issue that was discussed.

"The war in Iraq is a big one actually. There's a lot of, I don't know. It depends," says Max Oppenheimer, a freshman Music major. "At JMU, you get different viewpoints from everywhere."

According to a Facebook poll, two-thirds of users say the United States doesn't need to maintain high troop levels in Iraq.

"I don't think it's really going to effect the outcome. Just because I feel like probably not that many people were involved as much as Facebook would like. So I think more people would probably watch the debates on TV and stuff," says Murray.

"Some people don't even know who's running," says Nash.

"The input that we have, whether it's through Facebook or not, would be beneficial I think," says Scarano.

According to Facebook, Barack Obama leads the Democratic poles receiving more than 60 percent of the vote, while Ron Paul leads on the Republican side with 37 percent.


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