Elections quickly approaching

By Matt Donato
October 27, 2006

Shane Evans

“Lynn Swann: either no ideas or bad ideas.” This is just one of the strongly negative slogans you have heard and will continue to hear over the next couple of weeks until the elections on Nov. 7 roll around.

On that first Tuesday of the month, voters from around the nation will rush to a voting booth to do their part in trying to change this country one vote at a time.

Although this is a midterm election and not a presidential election the candidates for Congress are debating foreign policy. Often overshadowing bread-and-butter issues this year are the issues of war and peace that have been hotly debated for the past few years.

“Iraq, North Korea, Iran, our economy and separate from those, the war on terrorism. Also, a bit lower on the totem pole lies the idea of corruption in government,” Dr. James Hedtke, professor of history and political science, said. “International affairs were never really a matter until now.”

By mentioning Iraq, North Korea and Iran as campaign issues this year, Hedtke is talking about what George Bush called the “axis of evil.” President Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union speech, said that these countries were “arming to threaten the peace of the world.”

The main contest in Pennsylvania’s political battles lies between incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum and State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. These two have been in a heated competition. This is one of the closest fights in the nation, as far as senatorial elections are involved.

The two have battled it out in debates over the past month and have almost come to fisticuffs because it had escalated so quickly. Casey constantly bashes the current administration saying that “a new direction and new leadership” is needed which constitutes both national and international affairs.

“No more Rumsfeld,” Casey pleads.

Santorum, who often refers to himself in the third person, bashes Casey’s knowledge on matters and the fact that Casey’s father is the reason for his popularity.

Santorum said “I’ve worked hard. This is not a job that I inherited because of my last name,” which is ironic since Santorum backs President Bush whose father was President just two terms before his own.

“The way Pennsylvania votes in the senatorial race is crucial to both parties. Santorum has a lot to worry about since his poll ratings have dropped since the release of his latest book, ‘It Takes a Family.’ I don’t think making fun of Bob Casey will do the job. The Democrats are really out for blood this season,” Angie Peso, a senior political science and philosophy major, said.

The two have been in heated competition and a poll done by Zogby Interactive from Oct. 10 – 16 shows that Casey is up by 8 percent, coming up ahead 52 percent to 44 percent.

The gubernatorial race is just as close as the race in the senate, which is between Democratic Governor Ed Rendell and the Republican Party’s nominee, former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann.

The two candidates have opposing views stretching from gun laws to education. In their debates back in early October, they battled over property taxes, education, crime and the economy among other topics.

Rendell accuses the former wide receiver of not generating any ideas that could actually cultivate change. As his mudslinging commercials convey, Rendell discredits Swann’s ideas and says that he lacks any solid experience, while Swann strives to show Pennsylvanians that “reform and results” are the key to a better Pennsylvania and that Rendell believes in just two things: “rhetoric” and himself.

A poll done by Zogby Interactive from Oct. 10-16 showed that Rendell was up 7 percent, 51 percent to 44 percent.

“I would like to see some new faces in government, ones that could help the situation at hand and increase the nation’s morale,” Tony Falcone, a senior human resource major, said.

The Republicans hold the majority in the house now and if the Democrats want to take over, they need to pick up six seats.

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Matt Donato

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