UB students choose the “lesser evil” candidate

Many UB students will vote for the presidential candidate they feel is less corrupt


Maddie King is a first time voter and finds the upcoming presidential election to be much more intense than she had expected it to be. She feels it has come down to voting for the candidate who is the “lesser of two evils.”

King, a freshman biochemistry major and registered Democrat, was initially a Bernie Sanders supporter but will be voting for Hillary Clinton in the election because she said “Hillary isn’t [Donald] Trump.” However, she still feels Trump will win.

Many UB students and faculty will be voting on Nov. 8 for whom they feel is the “lesser of two evils.” While some first-time student voters didn’t expect the election to turn out this way, they feel voting is better than not voting at all. Other students chose not to not vote at all or to vote for a third-party candidate because they said they didn’t want to vote for a candidate who is “the lesser of two evils.”

Adam Licht, a senior geology major, will be voting for Clinton because he said he wants to keep his rights as a member of the LGBTQ community. If Trump wins, Licht said he would lose the right to get married.

“Not that I plan on getting married tomorrow or anything, but I believe I’m entitled to all of my rights as an American citizen,” Licht said.

Trump doesn’t support people who identify as transgender either, according to Licht.

“That puts them in a situation that they shouldn’t have to be put in or anyone for that matter. You can't deny someone the right to go into a bathroom,” Licht said. “That’s like absurd.”

Licht doesn’t fully agree or disagree with Clinton’s campaign, but he still said she’s

“obviously the better choice.”

“I think Hillary will do a good job at keeping the position [and] keeping our ties together as a country with other countries, but I don’t think she’s going to do a lot of change,” Licht said.

Licht feels Clinton will serve more as a figure head.

“I think that’s totally A-OK and for right now that’s what this country needs until we literally relax with the police brutality [and] fix our own selves,” Licht said. “Eventually, maybe we can go back to being the greatest again.”

Other students support Trump because they feel he is better than the other candidates.

Haley McNeely, a senior psychology major and registered Democrat, doesn’t agree with either Trump or Clinton but thinks she is going to vote for Trump.

“Honestly, I don’t agree much with either of their stances. As horrible as it sounds, it’s the lesser of two evils. I still feel the need to vote for one of them,” McNeely said.

McNeely voted in the last presidential election in 2012 and isn’t surprised about how the election is going.

McNeely cares the most about foreign affairs and doesn’t feel Trump or Clinton have good stances on the issue.

There’s only one thing that would make Mcneely change her mind and vote for Clinton.

“If [Clinton] said something about the [2012] Benghazi scandal and actually stood up to the fact that she put our soldiers lives’ at risk and she apologized for it, I would be totally OK with her,” McNeely said. “But she hides behind a false facade of lies, which is bull. Own up to your actions and you might actually have a chance at being a good president.”

She feels Sanders should have won the election.

Other students will also be voting for Trump.

Robert Rondinaro, a senior political science major and registered Republican will be voting for Trump because he said Clinton is “fundamentally corrupt and what’s wrong with American politics.” He still believes Clinton will win.

“I believe Donald Trump has a variety of issues as a candidate such as inexperience and temperament but ultimately doesn't come with the extreme levels of corruption and scandals that surround the Clintons,” Rondinaro said.

Cory Chaise, a sophomore biomedical sciences major and registered Independent, feels Trump is not the “lesser of two evils” and that he will win.

He agrees with Trump’s campaign and thinks Clinton is corrupt because of her email leaks.

“Hillary is crooked and needs to be put in jail,” Chaise said.

Other students will be voting for third party candidates.

Paul Ostrer, a second year law graduate student, is voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Ostrer thinks voting for the candidate who is the lesser of two evils, would only make America “more evil.”

“I believe voting shouldn’t mean compromising my values,” Ostrer said.

Some students would prefer not to vote at all.

Juliana Sottnik, a sophomore sociology major, used to be interested in minoring in politics until she looked deeper into politics. She said voting is “silly” and doesn’t want to be responsible for putting a “fool” in the White House.

“I'm not voting because I feel that voting creates the illusion that we have a voice in government when that's not necessarily the case,” Sottnik said. “As far as my understanding of politics, when we cast our votes we are voting for someone to vote on our behalf and ultimately our individual votes are meaningless.”

When she studied politics further, she found “corruption and secrecy [to be] common features of political affairs,” so she no longer involves herself in politics.

Sottnik said she believes Trump would be “especially awful as president.”

“I think Americans look silly for letting him get this far in the election process,” Sottink said. “However, I feel like there's enough restriction on presidential power that if he somehow got into the White House, he wouldn't be able to do anything too wild anyway.”

Other students are registered to vote but aren’t sure if they will end up voting.

Eric Mandel, a junior speech and hearing sciences major, is registered to vote but feels Clinton is “everything wrong with politics” and Trump “is not a respectable person.”

He said neither deserves his vote.

“One of the biggest issues about this election is that policies have not really been center stage and whenever policy has been brought up it’s used as personal attacks against the other instead of expressing their ideas on these issues,” Mandel said.

Voting for the “lesser of two evils” is common in elections and is a tradition in American politics, according to Jacob Neiheisel, an assistant political science professor.

“It’s a fairly common complaint that most citizens have had at least in modern history, perhaps since we’ve been voting on presidents,” Neiheisel said. “We get this sense that we’re not really happy with the choices we’re presented with.”

Neiheisel said in past elections, people would say they want “choices instead of echoes” and in some dimensions he feels this remains true in politics today.

Hannah Stein is a senior news editor and can be reached at hannah.stein@ubspectrum.com or on Twitter at @HannahJStein.