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A preliminary poll of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) presidential race showed most students remain undecided on where their political preferences lie, and many others simply don’t plan on voting at all.
In a 280-person survey conducted by Mustang News, 51 percent of students said they had not yet decided whether to vote for political science senior Joi Sullivan, agricultural business junior Jake Rogers or civil engineering junior Connor Paquin. Another 23.6 percent said they didn’t plan on voting in the April 23 election.
Among likely voters, Sullivan led the way with the support of 16 percent of those polled. Paquin was close behind with 13 percent, and Rogers had 4 percent. Approximately 2/3 of likely voters hadn’t yet made a decision.
“It’s encouraging to see — I wouldn’t call it quite a majority — but a number of students have decided to vote for me,” Sullivan said. “It gives me a little bit more confidence, but there’s still five days left (until voting).”
Candidates had been openly campaigning for only three or four days when the survey was conducted on April 23-24, a possible reason for the large amount of undecided voters.
Many students were not aware who the candidates were. Even people who stated a clear preference sometimes seemed ambivalent about their choice, like environmental engineering junior Courtney Thomas.
“I don’t really like any of the candidates, but I like Joi’s ideas the best so far,” Thomas said.
Both Paquin and Sullivan said they thought the election would come down to the last few days, though neither disclosed what tricks they had up their sleeves.
Many voters only started paying attention near the end of the campaigning period last year, Paquin said. He worked with Sullivan on Nate Honeycutt’s unsuccessful bid for ASI president.
“Once it gets close to the election, they’ll realize, ‘Oh shoot, I need to get informed,’” Paquin said. “We see that every year.”
The election results will be announced immediately after hip-hop duo Atmosphere’s performance Thursday in the Recreation Center, Paquin said.
Unlike years past, candidates will not be allowed to campaign the day of the election.