‘October Surprises’ do little to sway strong partisan voters

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DonnaW / Pixabay

DonnaW / Pixabay

Leaked campaign emails, speeches, tax returns, uncovered footage and accusations of sexual assault. These “October Surprises,” among others, happen every presidential-election cycle.

These revelations are known to rattle even the most loyal supporters of each candidate. However, for Clinton and Trump’s most vocal defenders at the University of Miami, public opinion polling and scandals will not sway their vote.

As of Oct. 26, Clinton has a 43.6 percent favorable rating and a 52.4 percent unfavorable rating, according to Real Clear Politics.

Freshman Giovanna Tarantino from Brookline, Massachusetts supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primaries, but is now a fervent Clinton supporter. She is not fazed by Clinton’s recent controversies.

“She has definitely done some things that have pissed me off. But, at this point, she and Donald Trump both have so much baggage that I’ve just kind of ignored it. I solely pay attention to their beliefs and ideas now. I put all the scandals aside because I’ve had it with this election at this point,” she said.

Similarly, freshman Ally Samet from Princeton, New Jersey has supported Clinton since she entered the race. She said Clinton’s scandals are frustrating, but nothing could sway her vote at this point.

“I don’t know what it would take to switch my vote. Out of all the candidates running, there is only one who stands out in my mind. I only trust one of these candidates with the future of my country,” she said.

One thing that Clinton and Trump supporters agree on is choosing their candidate based on their positions on issues, not because of scandals or political back-and-forth.

As of Oct. 26, Trump has a 35.6 favorable rating and a 60.6 unfavorable rating.

Freshman Melissa Stewart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida has supported Trump from the beginning of his campaign and cast her ballot for him in the Republican Party primaries.

In a video uncovered by The Huffington Post earlier this month, Trump was seen making demeaning comments about women and hinting at sexual assault. Since this tape was released, Trump apologized and denied ever acting in the way he described. In the weeks following, 11 women came forward alleging claims of sexual assault.

Stewart said she disagrees with Trump’s language in the leaked audio from Access Hollywood, but she will still vote for him.

“I think everyone’s reaction was way too crazy. I do feel like what he said was wrong, but everyone says things that they aren’t supposed to or don’t mean … he is going to be better than Clinton would be in office and he won’t say anything like that once he is president. He is a smart man,” she said.

Stewart does not care about Clinton’s controversies either. “That is not at all the reason that I am not a Hillary supporter. I do not care that much. The scandals would not sway my vote. The policies are what sway my vote,” she explained.

Similarly, freshman Isabella Savini from Connecticut supported Senator Marco Rubio in the primaries and now supports Trump. She supports Trump due to her party affiliation and her stance on public policy.

“I knew that these things were a part of his past, so it doesn’t affect me as much,” Savini said.

She believes that the justifications the Trump campaign is putting forth make sense. She believes these controversies from Trump’s past are being released now to create attacks on Trump and divert the attention from the substance of the election.

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day and early voting already happening in Florida, consistent Democrat and Republican voters have made up their minds despite the constant back-and-forth between candidates.

Feature photo courtesy Pixabay user DonnaW.

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