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Polls See High Student Voting Numbers

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Students, no matter their political affiliation, can breathe a sigh of relief now that the fever of anticipation has dissipated along with the phone-exploding calls from Barack Obama supporters and the endless TV ads from Mitt Romney-advocating super PACs.

For Democrats like Shannon Welch, President of the OU College Democrats and Campus Leader for Obama for America, the election results that declared Obama the winner at approximately 11:13 p.m. Tuesday brought euphoria.

“I’m overwhelmed completely. I feel like all of my team’s hard work has been rewarded. They…and teams across the state and across the country made this happen,” said Welch. “I’m just really proud of OU students for going and voting.”

According to a survey conducted by The New Political, 89.4 percent of the 75 students surveyed either were planning on voting or had already voted.

Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, where the OU College Democrats gathered last night, was a jubilant scene after “Re-elected” flashed across TV screens. Chants of “Four more years” turned into choruses of “Proud to be an American.”

“Just watching Jackie O’s explode like that was so cool,” said Audrey Imes, a junior. “It’s really cool to see people be so passionate about something.”

For other students, Obama’s victory was less thrilling.

“I’m not really surprised by Obama winning the presidency again. Truth be told, the party that raises the most money tends to win,” said Jacob Chaffin, a member of the Radical Left Student Alliance.

The OU College Republicans were unavailable for comment last night.

Despite decisive divisions between parties, it was issues like abortion, cost of higher education and immigration that motivated some students’ votes.

“I’m a really big advocate for Planned Parenthood, and quite frankly, the weeks leading up to this election, the idea of Mitt Romney getting elected scared the hell out of me,” said Imes. “I really like where Obama is going with healthcare… Some of those resources that are provided through [the Affordable Care Act] are so important, like Planned Parenthood.”

Welch underscored some of Obama’s campaign promises.

“The re-election for President Obama means…that we have a president that lets people love who they want to love. It means that we have a president that understands that college needs to be affordable,” said Welch.

However, some students like Chaffin are dissatisfied by the discrepancy between Obama’s promises of hope and his actions in office.

“Campaign promises don’t mean much, especially when you consider the bombs that are being dropped in Yemen and Pakistan, the massive deportations of immigrant families in the United States that have doubled since the Bush presidency, and more austerity,” said Chaffin.

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