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October 17, 2006

BBC interviews poli sci students on midterm races

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) interviewed seven third- and fourth-year students at a roundtable session Monday to gauge U.S. public opinion on next month’s mid-term elections.

“We wanted to ask what are in the issues in this election, what matters to you,” said Brian Barron, the BBC’s New York correspondent. “Viewers don’t really know anything at the moment, so we need to spell out the issues.”

Questions focused on student thoughts on the Iraq war, social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, and voter disillusionment with the president.

“My current instinct is to vote out the current party,” said third-year Sheldon Levy. “I don’t like the corruption, the secrecy, and the lack of responsibility. Staying the course on the road to hell is not admirable.”

Other students countered Levy’s opinions, arguing for a wider Republican majority to pass Social Security reform and continue the war on terror.

Third-year Amanda Aisen said her most important concern was tort reform.

“For me, I’m the daughter of a physician, and so I know firsthand how super-high insurance rates are discouraging people from becoming doctors,” Aisen said.

The interview subjects were students in “Politics of the U.S. Congress,” a political science course taught by Professor J. Mark Hansen, who also spent time on-camera for the interview. The session will be broadcasted next Wednesday.

The panel represented a range of viewpoints, from an Indiana Democrat to a former intern for conservative Pennsylvanian senator Rick Santorum. In order to be selected for the panel, students were asked to write a paragraph expressing their interest in the subject.

The interview was part of a piece on Midwest political sentiment, which will also feature a report on the Missouri senate race and a section at the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL.