With just over one month until Connecticut’s gubernatorial race, the majority of Yalies are apathetic about what has become one of the most hotly contested races in the country.
A poll released on Sept. 10 by Quinnipiac University reveals that Republican candidate Tom Foley currently has a six-point lead over Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy, one of the closest margins of any race this year. Yet the majority of Yale students interviewed who are not Connecticut residents or affiliated with political organizations on campus said they are not following the race.
Of 50 students interviewed, only 10 plan to vote in Connecticut this November, and most of these prospective voters said they are not yet sufficiently informed about either candidate to support one or the other.
“I’ve heard the election mentioned a couple of times but am fundamentally clueless,” Christina Drexler ’18 said.
Since most students only spend four years in Connecticut, they expressed doubt that the race would have any impact on their daily lives. Scott Smith ’18 said that since he is not from Connecticut, he feels little motivation to pay attention to the race. He also added that before heading to the polls he would want to make an informed decision about which candidate to support, but doubts that he will have time to do so.
A number of students prefer to vote in their home state for reasons ranging from the relative impact of their votes to a lack of familiarity with Connecticut’s needs and politics.
Mollie Johnson ’18, a Florida resident, said she prefers to stay registered in her home state since it usually important in national elections.
Kate Horvat ’18, a Pennsylvania resident, said she would rather vote in Pennsylvania because she is, “not connected enough with Connecticut.”
Even upperclassman interviewed do not consider Connecticut home. Cayla Broton ’16 said that after two years of living in New Haven she still plans to vote in her home state by absentee ballot. Most of her friends do the same, she said.
Of those planning to vote in Connecticut, the majority are like Chloe Larkin ’17, who said she still needs to do more research before casting a ballot on Nov. 4.
Still, some like as Alexis Gurganious ’18, have been keeping a close eye on both Malloy and Foley’s campaigns. She said that she watched the gubernatorial debate and has been researching each candidate.
“It’s a tight race and while I’m not completely sure who I’ll vote for, I think I’m now closer to knowing who I support,” Gurganious said.
However, those involved in political organizations on campus are invested in the outcome of the race. Leaders of the Yale College Democrats and Yale College Republicans said they have been working hard to educate the Yale community about this fall’s elections, especially the governor’s race. Party leaders are hopeful that between now and Nov. 4, more Yalies will take an interest in the election.
The Yale College Dems have been very involved in spreading awareness about the elections and encouraging students to register to vote in Connecticut, according to Lily Sawyer-Kaplan ’17, the communications director for the Yale College Democrats.
Yale College Republicans President Andrea Barragan ’16 said that some students are hesitant to get involved with Connecticut politics because they won’t be here after they graduate. However, she added that students have the opportunity to make an educated vote and that doing so would be a service to Connecticut.
Foley and Malloy will have six more debates before election day.