Media Has Strong Influence Over Students’ Political Views

Information on the 2016 presidential candidates is everywhere. Hillary Clinton is dealing with the Benghazi incident, Donald Trump has been protesting debates, and Ted Cruz has been branded as crazy. However, with Election Day still a year away, the students of Robinson are left pondering the future of the country, a future based widely on the media around them.

Senior Julia Mahon Kuzin and junior Maddie Tirado are both partial towards Bernie Sanders as a presidential nominee, but both said it would be unlikely that he would be the Democratic nominee. “He has a strong following of young voters as he appeals to our mentality,” Tirado said.

Both students said Sanders may be seen as too liberal or too strong of a socialist for the general voting population. Sophomore Justin Cha said Bernie Sanders was among the smartest candidates, but would probably not be elected because of his beliefs. “Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist, and I think that hurts him because 51 percent of America won’t put a socialist in the United States of America’s presidential cabinet,” Cha said.

Sophomore Jacob Kaminsky said he favored Ted Cruz to be the next president. “He’s very open to different beliefs and has great ideas in terms of government,” Kaminsky said.

Tirado and Mahon Kuzin said Hillary Clinton has a high chance of being nominated as the Democratic candidate. “I believe our country will benefit from a woman’s point of view,” Mahon Kuzin said.

Students get their news on the presidential race from different places.  “I mostly learn about the candidates from a truly biased point of view,” Mahon Kuzin said. She said she gets her information from satirical news shows such as the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, but watches the debates when they are available. Tirado said she listens to National Public Radio while she is driving. She gets information from the Huffington Post and Slate, occasionally as well. Tirado said she preferred not to follow social media for details on the candidates. “Sometimes it’s unavoidable,” Tirado said, “and I end up seeing a rant from somebody on Twitter.”

Kaminsky follows Twitter and GOP debates, because that is what his dad watches. Cha said he tunes in to larger news sources, such as Fox, and NBC. “I also follow smaller websites like Politico, Huffington Post, and social media,” he said.

Students said the media will influence the election next November, but Mahon Kuzin said the media won’t be the only influence. “The other half is from my parents,” she said. “I was brought up with a certain viewpoint, and that has been constant throughout my life.”

Kaminsky agreed that her parents have a big effect on her political perspective. “It influences my opinion of the candidates greatly,” she said. “It’s my only way of understanding politics.”

Tirado said she reads news “geared towards liberal minded citizens,” and she said she is aware of the bias that will most likely be present in her vote.