Editor’s note: The following interviews were conducted by JOUR 111: Mass Media Environment journalism students Brian Bloom, Reece Chapman, Jacqueline Gallegos, Emma O’Donnell, Alayna Robinson and Steffanie Woodman. The initial prompt for all interview subjects was, “What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?”

Remedios Barajas, 20, of Coldwater

Interviewed by Jacqueline Gallegos

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I think that this upcoming election seems like a really important election because it is pretty much dividing the nation. It made people become more aware of politics. For example, I’m not that into politics, but this election has encouraged me to become more informed about politics.

Q: What are the reasons that make you believe that this upcoming election is, as you state, “dividing the nation”?

A: I think a lot of people are being more vocal about where they stand in politics, especially in social media, for example TikTok, Instagram, Facebook. Another reason that this election is dividing the nation is that people are becoming more violent. There are a lot of protests. For example, they also attempted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer. And I can’t believe they would go to those extremes.

Q: You said, and I quote, “this election has encouraged me to become more informed about politics.” What made you more informed about this election?

A: Honestly, the propaganda, because that was the main reason. I see a lot of TV shows, presidential commercials, ads on YouTube, and they just all tell you to go vote.

Q: Did you vote in the last election? If no, why?

A: I didn’t vote in the last election because I was only 16 years old, so I was underage.

Q: Are you going to vote in this election? If no, why?

A: Yes, I am.

Bobby Bernath, 21, of Toledo, Ohio

Interviewed by Jacqueline Gallegos

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I think it’s ridiculous. I believe neither candidate is fit to lead our country. On one end we have a man that is obviously so obsessed with social media it makes me doubt whether he does any actual work. And on the other hand we have a man that doesn’t remember his speeches and has a poor memory.

Q: Couldn’t you say that President Trump’s attention to social media makes him more aware of the everyday person’s needs and wants? What do you think?

A: I suppose it could, but half of the time these posts are made by a team that is supposed to specifically post on social media. And besides, the main thing he does on there is slander people that don’t like him.

Q: You said Joe Biden has, and I quote, “poor memory.” Do you think that his “mental drawbacks” undermine his political experience? Why or why not?

A: I’m not saying he hasn’t done anything good for the county, and I’m not saying the man isn’t knowledgeable. All I’m saying is that I don’t think we should have a man of that age and that poor of memory running the country. It’s irresponsible.

Q: Did you vote in the last election? If no, why?

A: No, because I was too young.

Q: Do you plan to vote in this election?

A: I do not plan on voting this year because I don’t believe that either man deserves to be president.

Liliana Bloom, 46, of Coldwater

Interviewed by Brian Bloom

Q: What are your thoughts about the election?

A: I do not fully support either candidate. I believe both are better than the other in one way or another. I disagree with quite a few of Joe Biden’s ideals and I think Donald Trump is the better of the two.

Q: How do you believe the situation America is in will be solved?

A: I believe that us as people need to be safe and follow the safety protocols, but I believe that God is in control and he has a plan for everybody and this country as a whole.

Q: How will the way the people decide to vote impact the direction of America the next four years?

A: It will affect virtually everything. The policies Trump has placed will likely be fought against if Trump loses and it would just be very chaotic. As I said before though, God has his hand on this election and he knows what is going to happen, we don’t.

Mike Boles, 74, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Reece Chapman

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: Trump needs to win and Whitmer needs to resign.

Q: Why does Trump need to win?

A: Because this country is in such bad shape and we don’t need to change. We need him to get us out of this mess.

Q: What do you mean by a mess?

A: Taxes are going up, government spending is going up from all levels, and he needs to change that.

Aubre Carey, 18, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Alayna Robinson

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: *** Trump. If Trump wins, I plan to move to Canada and become a gay chef.

Q: Why do you think this way about candidate Trump?

A: Trump’s vice president, Pence, wants to send the LGBTQ+ communities to concentration camps, essentially, and I’m pretty sure my friends and I would like to survive. Also, the way they’ve been handling the pandemic has caused so much death that could’ve been prevented. He’s one of the worst presidents the United States has ever seen.

Q: What kind of turnout do you expect to happen?

A: It’s really hard to tell at the moment. I think Trump will win, though, because so much has happened in his term that should’ve got him actually impeached, but you see where we are now.

Kelly Chapman, 54, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Reece Chapman

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I am disappointed with the negative tone that has been taken in this election.

Q: What would an instance that shows a negative tone?

A: All of the personal attacks made from both sides.

Q: How likely are these attacks to sway your vote?

A: It has me doing more research and fact-checking on both candidates and it difficult to find unbiased sources, which is troubling.

Luke Donay, 19, of Coldwater

Interviewed by Brian Bloom

Q: What are your thoughts about the election?

A: I believe Trump is hands-down the best man for the job. He has increased security, the economy is the highest it has ever been and he has created millions of jobs for the American people.

Q: Do you believe that Joe Biden will create the same opportunities?

A: No. Biden wants to spend trillions of dollars on the Green New Deal environmental plans and will destroy the economy.

Q: What do you believe will be the deciding factor among who the voters prefer?

A: The candidate who has the better plan for the American people will win this election. I believe it is Trump.

Lizbeth Hall, 23, of Union City

Interviewed by Jacqueline Gallegos

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: Well obviously I think that there is a lot of controversy of who is the best candidate. I believe that we as Americans need a good leader that can represent us all.

Q: What, in general, do you think are the qualities of a good political leader?

A: I think that a good leader is someone who has a strong vision for the country’s future, someone who resembles integrity and has the ability to delegate and show gratitude and empathy.

Q: In this presidential election, which presidential nominee best embodies the qualities that you believe make a good political leader? And why?

A: Well, I can sure tell why Trump isn’t the strong leader that he pretends to be. Even if he believed in all the things he promised and wanted to accomplish them, he has failed because he doesn’t understand how to govern. Don’t get me wrong, Trump is a great campaigner, no doubt. He can work a crowd like few others can. However, like his whole career, he was the boss of this organization that he controlled 100%, but governing in a democracy isn’t like that. Democracy is about compromise, about give-and-take, about sharing the credit and taking the blame and he surely cannot do that.

Q: Did you vote in the last election?

A: I did not.

Q: Why?

A: I feel like I wasn’t as informed as I am now.

Q: Are you going to vote in this election?

A: Yes, I already did.

Kara Hughes, 18, of Reading

Interviewed by Brian Bloom

Q: What are your thoughts about the election?

A: I think the election is ridiculous. It seems like all politicians do is point fingers at each other and nothing really gets done. At this point, I don’t know who I’m going to vote for.

Q: If you had to choose between Trump and Biden, who would you choose? Why?

A: Even though I don’t really like either for president, I would have to choose Trump. He has been our leader for the past four years and has made progress in our government. Biden also seems to ramble on and does not provide clear answers for any issues that America is faced with.

Q: Why is it important for everyone to vote?

A: It’s important for everyone to vote because they get to express their opinions on who they think will be best suited for president.

Tyler Leither, 16, of Climax

Interviewed by Reece Chapman

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I think it’s dumb that you have to pick from the worst of two evils.

Q: Why do you think that they are the worst of two evils?

A: One is terrible on how he composes himself in public and the other is not fully there mentally.

Q: Do you think these candidates represent the people of the U.S well? Why?

A: I don’t think Trump represents the people well because he’s very divisive.

Nick Moreno, 21, of Lansing

Interviewed by Alayna Robinson

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: We got dealt with a bad hand. It’s better to settle with smaller things than bigger with the current administration.

Q: Which candidate do you support more?

A: Biden.

Q: Why do you support Biden?

A: Because he has genuine plans and policies set. He has the ability to actually condemn white supremacy and to not endorse it.

Emma O’Donnell, 18, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Steffanie Woodman

Q: How do you feel about this upcoming election?

A: My thoughts on the upcoming elections are I am kinda nervous about it. I don’t know much about it and this is my first time voting.

Q: Why does this make you nervous?

A: This makes me nervous because whoever is chosen is going to be our next president.

Q: Who do you think will win?

A: I think Trump has a better chance of winning. Both of them have good points, but I personally think it is hard to pick either of them. Trump is better with his speeches and is always ready to go, while Biden is always forgetting his thoughts, and that makes me nervous since he is always forgetting and going off track of what is going on.

Patrick O’Donnell, 48, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Emma O’Donnell

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: It’s an exciting election. It’s going to be the biggest election of our lifetime, due to the fact that there’s a lot of factors involved. Now that the Supreme Court justice has been picked there’s a lot of people that love the economy, like myself, and I’d like to keep the economy the way it is so I’ll be voting Donald Trump.

Q: Who do you think is going to win the election?

A: I believe Donald Trump is going to win the election.

Eleanor Rea, 18, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Emma O’Donnell

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I think it’s going to be a very close run and that there’s going to be lots of different types of voters because a new generation is coming to the election this year and the generation coming in is more diverse than ever. They want more of an impact than ever before. It’s gonna be a close one.

Q: Why is it important to vote?

A: Because you need to get your voice out there. If you don’t vote then what you think and what you think matters is obsolete and it doesn’t really matter that much. So it’s always important to vote so you can get a part of your voice out there, because if you don’t go you stay silent, which makes no impact.

Q: Who do you think is going to win the election?

A: I think Biden will have a really strong chance of winning this upcoming election just because of political stuff with Black Lives Matter and COVID. People are in the mindset that COVID-19 is scary, like really huge, and it is, but Trump’s more of the person who’s like, the masks help, yes, but he doesn’t personally wear them all the time. But Biden is always wearing his mask and people are for wearing them. So they are going to see his perspective on COVID more than Trump’s perspective because it seems like Trump does not care even though he does.

With Black Lives Matter, there are so many things about Trump hating on people of color and people of different minorities and stuff. There is so much on all social media platforms and with Biden there is always stuff that he is so caring and wants to help the minorities. Not to stay that Trump doesn’t, he does, but the news portrays that he doesn’t while they portray that Biden does, so people see more of Biden caring for minorities so believe that. Like the generation that’s going to be in the voting, Gen Z, we are going to lean more towards Biden because we’re more about inclusiveness and bringing up minorities and stopping segregation, and they see that Biden will help with that and Trump might not.

Ava Watkins, 18, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Alayna Robinson

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: My thoughts on the upcoming election? Honestly, either way we’re screwed, but Biden might be the better option.

Q: Have you voted yet?

A: I haven’t voted yet, but I am registered.

Q: Why is Biden the better option?

A: I guess I prefer Biden because we’ve already seen what Trump has done. Trump is a Republican and I see myself as a Democrat, so obviously I’m going to align more with Biden’s views than Trump’s views.

Sara Woodman, 40, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Steffanie Woodman

Q: What are your thoughts of the upcoming election?

A: I cannot wait until it’s over. Because all politicians are liars. It’s not a good choice, either one. It’s picking the better of two evils.

Q: What is the most controversial issue in the political campaign?

A: It’s the politics, using the COVID-19 as a political platform. Neither of them have a clue what it all entails and neither one of them have a way to fix it or decrease it.

Steffanie Woodman, 18, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Emma O’Donnell

Q: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: My thoughts on the upcoming election are I’m excited for this election to be over.

Q: Why is it important to vote?

A: I think it is important to vote because we are a part of our society and we should be able to have a say in what is going on.

Q: Who do you think is going to win the election?

A: I don’t know who’s going to win so we’ll just say I said Trump because I don’t know.

Steven Woodman, 46, of Battle Creek

Interviewed by Steffanie Woodman

Q: What are your thoughts on this upcoming election?

A: I cannot wait until this is over

Q: Why are you ready for this election to be over?

A: Because I am tired of all the political ads and the lying.

Q: Where do you see the ads the most?

A: On the TV and in the mailbox.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. For voter information, including poll locations and information about what’s on the ballot in specific locations, visit the Michigan Voter Information website at https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us.