According to a Daily News survey, Ball State students, faculty and staff do not care as much about the state races as they do the national ones. 1,000 survey responses were recorded and around 90 percent said they have been watching the presidential race very closely or fairly closely, and only 50 percent said the same about the state election. Samantha Brammer // DN
Students pay less attention to state elections than presidential
Although the presidential race is at the forefront of everyone’s attention today, Indiana has many other important races going on.
But Ball State students, faculty and staff don't care as much about the state races as they do the national ones, according to a Daily News survey. From Oct. 25 to Nov. 3, 1,000 survey responses were recorded.
Around 90 percent of respondents said they were watching the presidential race either very closely or fairly closely, but only about 50 percent said the same for the state elections.
Natalie Miller, a freshman biochemistry major, said she wished people paid more attention to elections other than the presidential one.
"Congress and local government make more of a difference than a president," Miller said. "It is Congress and our local government making the laws, and when I have talked to my friends, ... they don't even know the candidates or care about what those individuals say about the issues."
Joseph Losco, director Bowen Center for Public Affairs, said because the media focuses so much on national politics, there isn't enough visibility on the state races.
"People simply don't know enough about the functions of state government and what state government does," Losco said. "The further down you get [on the ballot], the less you know ... People are less likely to vote and think, 'If I don't know who this is, why should I vote?"
Even though state government has more of an impact on people's every day lives, people still don't pay as much attention, Losco said.
State officials control the water, higher education, K-12 education, sewer systems, transportation, roads and highways, Losco said. In other words, all of the things that heavily impact people's life.
But even though half of the respondents said they weren't watching the race closely, they still were opinionated about who they wanted to win.
Sixty percent said they would vote for Democratic candidate John Gregg for the gubernatorial race, and 22 percent said they would vote for Eric Holcomb, the Republican.
"It is our state representatives that make the laws in this country," Miller said. "We need people who have the same views as us in Congress and our local governments.
"Sure, it's important to have a president who has the same views as us, but it is more important to have the people making the laws to have the same views."