By Laura Gasvoda and Jeff Craig
Tuesday’s election results came as no surprise to most ACU students. Many said they expected Governor Rick Perry to win the Texas gubernatorial race and anticipated the GOP’s return to power in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Members of ACU’s College Democrats gathered at the Taylor County Democratic Party headquarters to watch election results. ACU’s Young Republicans watched election results from a classroom in the Hardin Administration Building, and other students watched from home.
Nathan Lloyd, freshman biology major from Georgetown, said he wasn’t surprised by Tuesday’s results.
“I like Rick Perry,” Lloyd said. “I like living in Texas. And Texas is a Republican state; I’m not surprised Perry won. I even think Rick Perry may have had a chance at being President if it weren’t for the George Bush legacy. I think he’ll just stay governor for a really long time instead.”
ACU Young Republicans president Aaron Escobedo, senior history major from Lamesa, said the results of this year’s midterm elections should serve as a referendum on President Obama and his party.
“This is what we were expecting the whole time,” Escobedo said. “People are tired of it. They’ve realized after two years they want real change.”
Escobedo said the GOP saw major gains this year because the party returned to its core values, including fiscal conservatism.
Stewart McGregor, freshman Christian ministry and political science major from Arlington, is a member of Young Republicans and supports the Tea Party Movement. McGregor, who watched the election results with the Young Republicans while wearing a tea bag around his neck, said he believed the tea party served the GOP well as a grassroots movement in the 2010 election.
“I believe it played a strong role for fiscal conservatism,” McGregor said. “It helped wake up America; it’s going to be a force in the next election.”
On the other hand, supporters of Bill White were disappointed with election results.
Farron Salley, junior Ad/PR major from Fort Worth, said she thought White would close the gap more than he did. Salley said she was surprised with how Abilene residents voted, since White was in Abilene more recently than Perry and had more campaign signs visible throughout the city.
“I think Bill White was Texas’ best bet for a rise in the Democratic party in Texas,” Salley said. “He didn’t carry the state like I thought he would.”
ACU College Democrats president Rebecca Dial, sophomore political science major from Lexington, S.C., said she knew the GOP would retake the House, but also said she expected a closer gubernatorial race between Perry and White.
“There is a lot of anti-Perry sentiment and Bill White is the best candidate we’ve had in a while,” Dial said.
Nikki Favors, a non-traditional student in the Human and Professional Development program from Hamlin, said while she did expect Perry to win the governorship, she did not anticipate the results of the national elections.
“I feel a little like Kevin Costner’s character in the movie Swing Vote as far as national politics are concerned,” Favors said. “I have to say I was a little clueless.”
International students have their own perspectives on Tuesday’s elections. Daniba Dan-Princewill, junior nutrition major originally from Nigeria whose family now lives in Katy, said her sister, who was born in the U.S., is the only family member who could vote in this year’s election.
“Even though I cannot vote, my family and I still have a voice through her,” Dan-Princewill said.
Dan-Princewill said her family is Republican and is glad to see Perry win and the GOP regain the House majority.