SDSU reacts to Election 2002

Toby Uecker

Toby Uecker

With a near republican sweep in the statewide eleccions and a Senate race that’s still too close to call, the 2002 election cycle has left SDSU students with reactions ranging from confusion to eleation to apathy.

“It’s kinda what I expected tohappen,” sophomore general biology major Joe Herreman said of the election cycle, especially the close Senate race.

Herreman said he paid relatively close attention to the election returns last night. The television in his residence hall room was on constantly from about 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

When he finally stopped watching the coverage and went to sleep, Herreman said incumbant Sen. Tim Johnson was still ahead in a race that now has challenger Rep. John Thune on top by a margin of a few hundred votes.

“They’ll probably count [the senate ballots] two or three times,” he predicts.

Herreman said he was pleased to have a senate race that wound up so close.

“It actually makes you feel like your vote counts,” he said.

Herreman admitted that the race doesn’t have quite as much prominence, though, when the Republicans have already gained enough seats to control the U.S. Senate.

While Herreman devoted a major portion of his night to watching the election, other SDSU students took less interest in the events.

“I wasn’t interested in politics,” said junior chemistry major Carlos Flores.

“I had other stuff on my mind.”

Flores still took the time Wednesday morning to catch himself up on the events of Election Day. He didn’t find too many surprises, even in the near-tied Senate race.

“I thought [the Senate race] was going to be pretty much dead even,” he said.

Across the nation, Flores said, there was only one race that went differently than he expected.

“[Minnesota Senate candidate Walter] Mondale surprised me,” he said.

With or without surprises, however, students like sophomore undeclared major Dessie Hoppes are simply glad to be at the end of the election cycle.

Hoppes said she will not miss all the advertisements that filled the airwaves leading up to last night’s vote.

“There was tons of stuff on the TV,” she said. “It got kind of annoying after a while, but it was kind of needed because [the election]’s important.”

Hoppes said that the fact she is from Nebraska meant she had less invested in the South Dakota election coverage both election night and the following morning.

“If I was from here, I’d care, but I’m not really that interested in politics, anyway,” she said.

However interested students are in politics, though, they seem to agree that this election cycle is not yet totally over.

Herreman, for one, said he wouldn’t be surprised if officials declare a winner in the Senate race and then have to change their declaration after a recount.

He added that just about anything could happen between now and the swearing in of the newly elected officials in January.

“It’s politics. Who knows?”

#1.887799:3809639735.jpg:students.jpg:Freshman Jonathan Wilsnack and senior Molly Lefholz, Humanitarian Chair for the SDSU College Democrats, watched election returns Tuesday night at the Brookings Office of the South Dakota Democratic Party.: