Local politicians aim to increase their voting by campaigning to specific neighborhoods but cease to campaign to college students due to money, political views or the lack of appeal.
These politicians do not campaign on campus but instead seek out wealthy families in order to push their personal political agenda. While doing this, many students are left indecisive throughout the process of voting. Politicians often do not seek out the college vote due to the lack of student voters. However, voting by college students has doubled since 2018 and still continues to increase, leaving politicians with no excuse.
It is most common for politicians to campaign for their own political party, leaving them to steer clear of college campuses. The reason for this is due to the common misconception that most college students are liberals, even though Mississippi is mostly made up of Republicans. While political views do differ throughout a college campus, many students are still unregistered to vote or simply have no party in mind.
Although a sensitive topic, voter suppression is very common when voting as a college student. Wanting to “make it just a little more difficult,” Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith joked about suppressing the college vote in 2018 as if voting wasn’t already wearing for most college students. Many students are away from home. Being away from home forces them to travel or present an absentee ballot in order to vote.
With a lack of political campaigning on campus, students are not guaranteed to vote due to the uncertainty they are left with after the lack of appeal from candidates. Many students feel their vote is unwanted because of the scarcity of politicians on campus. Instead, politicians are campaigning throughout Hattiesburg, specifically wealthy neighborhoods or events, in order to gain votes from a targeted demographic.
Politicians need to think outside of their own party as well as their own agenda. The only reason politicians aren’t getting the college vote is that they are simply not trying. The only evidence of a campaign throughout campus was the debate between Tate Reeves and Jim Hood on Oct. 10. While students might not be seen as a benefit to some politicians, the college and young adult vote dominates the largest share of eligible voters.
College students are among the most passionate of generations and could truly make a difference if given the chance. Although politicians have the power to change these statistics, specifically for college voters, they simply aren’t going to. The college votes are not of importance to most politicians, but this needs to change.
College students are eager to vote, and they are eager for change. If politicians step outside of their comfort zone instead of strictly appealing to the wealthy, they might get college voters more interested in their campaign. After all, the future does not belong to the older, wealthy gentlemen at the country club. The future voters of America are waiting on college campuses for politicians to appeal to them and earn their trust.