Students prepare for upcoming election
After the first Tuesday in November passes by, the number of times your phone rings in the evening will drop significantly, the amount of flyers you find attached to your doorknob after work will go back to zero and students in Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani’s Intermediate Macroeconomics class will find out if their predictions rang true.
In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election, Dr. Khorassani challenged her class to predict the outcome of the election by analyzing each candidate’s platform and other data based on macroeconomics principles.
“The class was divided into two teams, with five students on each team,” says Ian Stanley ’14 (Lavale, Md.), a Marketing and Economics major. “My team looked historically at the macroeconomic policies of both candidates and the current economic conditions to make our prediction.”
Using data from 1948 through 2008, the team compared past economic conditions such as unemployment rates, inflation rates and the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index to current conditions to examine what types of indicators led to the incumbent retaining the presidency and what led to a change in party for the nation’s top office.
Based on their analyses, they predicted that Republican candidate Mitt Romney would win the election over Democrat incumbent President Barack Obama.
Team One was made up of Stanley, Sean Kuhn ’15 (Irwin, Pa.), Ke Ma ’15 (Inner Mongolia, China), Hao Yuan ’14 (Beijing, China) and Alex Toth ’13 (Concord Township, Ohio). Team Two consisted of Shaylyn Allen ’14 (Logan, Ohio), Tristine Toves ’14 (Sidney, Ohio), Tyler Blume ’14 (Tampa, Fla.), Eric Miranda ’15 (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) and Fang Liu ’13 (Beijing, Ohio). The teams made PowerPoint presentations to the class, in addition to writing a large paper as a group.
Team Two examined aspects such as the current unemployment rate, the Gross Domestic Product, national debt and weighed that data against the proposed Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan plan. With regard to candidates winning votes, Team Two determined the unemployment rate played a more important role in who won the election than the inflation rate.
“Based strictly on macroeconomics, we predicted that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election,” Miranda says. “But you also have to take into consideration that there are other issues weighing on the minds of voters.”
“Romney has a huge issue with the likeability factor,” Allen says. “Even though his macroeconomic policies appear to be better than President Obama’s, he’s struggling in the polls.”
After questioning how the data each team examined applied to macroeconomics, Khorassani complemented the groups on their work.
“I am so impressed because you guys made the same predictions but you approached it very differently,” Khorassani tells her students.
Other facets of campus have also taken up the cause of getting students engaged in the presidential election.
“The College Republicans have been involved in numerous events and activities to energize voting here at Marietta College, along with promoting the conservative cause not only on campus, but in the local community,” says Brad Miller ’13 (Waterford, Ohio), President of the Marietta College Republicans. “We have been involved with getting students on campus registered to vote and also informing students about the candidates in many different political races across the state and nation. We have been very active with the members of the local GOP, volunteering our time to phone bank and door knock all over Washington County. We have also been involved with events such as MC Rocks the Vote, where we held numerous events such as a voter registration day and a presidential debate viewing party.”
The Republicans also organized the 9/11 Never Forget Project, which placed nearly 3,000 flags in the ground on campus to commemorate the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“One of the final events we will be holding before the Nov. 6 election will be a viewing of the popular documentary ‘Obama's America: 2016’ in the Alma McDonough Auditorium on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.” Miller says. “The event is open to students and community members alike. These last couple weeks will consist of a strong ground game to help get Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates elected this fall.”
Taylor Landrie ’13 (Fredericksburg, Va.), Vice President of the Marietta College Democrats, has been working with the club’s president, Andy Moscardino ’13 (Bexley, Ohio), to get fellow students involved and excited about the upcoming election.
“This year, our club has been more active than at any time since I arrived on campus in 2009,” Landrie says. “We hit the ground running and met our local field organizers at our first meeting. From that point on, our members have been out in the Marietta community making phone calls and canvassing neighborhoods to inform people about our candidates and their stances. We’ve also had some incredible guests at our meetings.”
The Democrats have had members representing the party stationed on The Christy Mall to inform students about policies and to encourage voter registration.
“We’ve also had members at a variety of Residence Life programs around campus and we’ve hosted watch parties for the last two debates,” Landrie says. “We will be working to mobilize students on Nov. 6 by directing them to the vans that will be running students to the (Washington County) Fairgrounds (where registered Marietta College students living on campus vote) every 20 minutes all day. Some of our members will also be driving the vans.”