Last updateWed, 10 Oct 2018 4pm


Governor’s Race Chatter Starting Already

Now that the Presidential Campaign is through, New Jersey residents are turning their attention to the upcoming Governor Campaign. Current Governor Chris Christie has already applied his papers for re-election, but there has yet to be a definite for which Democrat hopeful is going to step up and run against him.

Christie’s recent popularity is stemming from his major success after Hurricane Sandy.

An article in The Star Ledger sourced a post Sandy poll from Quinnipiac University, showing the Governor’s high approval rating. According to the poll Christie’s approval rating up to 72 percent, the highest of any New Jersey Governor.

According the poll, he is even popular among the high amount of Democrats in NJ. Fifty two percent of Democrats approve of Chris Christie, something that Monmouth University sophomore political science major Saliha Younas would agree with.

According to Younas, “Even though I am a Democrat and my opinion of Chris Christie was not high in the beginning, after Hurricane Sandy it has changed. I liked the way he worked with the President and put aside party politics in order to handle the situation.”

Junior communication major, Daniel Gunderman says that his opinion of the Governor has not changed. “My opinion of him has only been solidified by Hurricane Sandy. Day in and day out, he battled illness and fatigue to be at all the majorly impacted areas from the storm. He even struck down reporters when they crossed the line, telling them that politics was second to his state’s recovery. He’s been unparalleled leader.”

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The Debt Clock is Ticking

debt-clock2Aside from the impending December 21, 2012 doomsday, Americans of all socioeconomic backgrounds should become well aware of the fiscal Armageddon that will take place on January 1, 2013 should Congress fail to act.

Beginning in January, the selfimposed crisis known as the “fiscal cliff” will take effect and cause $7 trillion worth of spending cuts and tax hikes over 10 years.

In the summer of 2011, Congress found itself in what seemed to be unending gridlock over the issue of raising the limit placed on borrowing through the selling of United States Government Bonds. The congressional impasse on raising the maximum limit on borrowing, known as the debt ceiling, put the United States on track to default on its financial obligations to creditors from all over the world.

Finally in August 2012, Congress reached a deal that temporarily raised the borrowing limit and allowed members of Congress the opportunity to avoid difficult, permanent decisions until after the 2012 election. In exchange for more time and to pressure Congress to work together, members of both parties agreed to cuts in military and domestic program spending.

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Gridlock: Where No One Wins

Republicans and Democrats are Digging in and not Budging on Crucial Issues

gridlock“Gridlock.” It is something that has become a familiar term in political news lately. It happened twice in 2011 according to CNN, nearly shut down the government and some businesses, and it seems like it is on the verge of happening again.

But what is “gridlock” anyway? Is it a traffic jam? Is it a power failure? Gridlock, in relation to politics, is the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans when they disagree about how to proceed. Assistant Communication Professor Michael Phillips-Anderson says, “Gridlock refers to the two parties not finding a way to compromise on legislation.”

According to a CNN article, in 2011 the gridlocks were due to budget talks.

According to an article in The Star Ledger, “Now, as the year 2012 comes to a close, and tax hikes and spending cuts are slated to kick in, Congressional leaders and White House officials find themselves dangerously close to that stalemate again.”

Dr. Charles Cotton of the Political Science Department says that as long as we have a two party system in Washington, there will always be a focus on opposition. “Will there always be gridlock? Yes, because the parties (Republican and Democrat) are so similar, yet they try to be different,” said Cotton. “They’re never going to be friends, but they do respect each other more than people think. Politicians do their job because they care about people. They just go about it in very different ways.” Gridlock in Washington often creates fatigue in Americans. In fact, at the end of 2011, Congress’s approval rating amongst the American people was the lowest it had ever been recorded. The year 2011 also happened to be Congress’s least efficient year in getting legislature passed and bills signed.

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The College Democrats Club Comes to the University

The College Democrats of Monmouth University Hope to get Campus Talking about Politics

University students are joining together to bring a College Democrats club to campus. The College Democrats of Monmouth University is an organization that will focus on spreading and promoting the beliefs of the Democratic Party and getting students more involved in the political process.

The College Democrats of America (CDOA) was founded in 1932 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for office. President Roosevelt’s campaign recognized the importance of the youth vote and used that to their advantage by getting college students involved in the campaign.

It was not until 1980 that the organization became an official branch of the Democratic National Committee. Ever since then, the College Democrats of America have worked extensively on campaigns, making a huge difference in the youth vote turnout, most notably President Barack Obama’s.

Elizabeth Anderson, an upper classman at the University and one of the founders of CDMU stated, “The goals of our club are to further the Democratic cause and political activism among students who are apathetic to politics. We want to get involved in local campaigns, and are excited for the upcoming Governor’s Race.”

According to the College Democrats website, College Democrats support the views of the Democratic Party which spread from social issues to economic ones as well.

The Democratic Party has mainly advocated this year for civil rights, the environment, health insurance reform, and energy independence. Their belief is to have equal rights and opportunities under civil rights for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.

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Romney/Ryan Fall Short of Presidency

republican-conventionThe debates are complete, the polls are now closed, and the announcements have been made in regards to 2012 presidential victor Barack Obama. To some this victory is not a surprise and is something to be celebrated, especially for the democratic party; for others though this win comes either as a surprise or as a pivotal letdown in the course the majority of the country has decided to take a look back to the Romney/Ryan campaign and wonder how this end result came about.

There has been discussion about what the Republican team did wrong in their running for the presidency as noted by sophomore Jessica David, a political science major. “I’ve noticed on most of the main media coverage’s of the election results how they criticized Romney’s campaign, but I don’t think that he really did as bad as they [the media] made it out to be,” says David who mentions that it was Romney’s campaign that had driven her to vote for the first time this year as a registered member of the Republican party.

When asked about the outcome she contends that “I was disappointed for sure when I saw Obama won primarily because I don’t think that he is going to deliver all of these promises about building up the economy and making jobs. I think that we are just going to see a repeat of what happened four years ago, all of this talk about big change and absolutely nothing done about it.”

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Democrats Delighted with Presidential Results

politics-democrats“Yes we did!” Is what Democrats around the nation are all chanting and cheering as they celebrate another four years of President Obama and his administration, while gaining two seats and keeping control over the Senate. Democrats captured the Presidency for another four years with 332 electoral votes and 62,186,573 popular votes.

After a long battle, the Obama campaign was able to win eleven of the 14 swing states, including states that were thought to go to Romney such as Virginia and Florida.

However all eyes were on Ohio, which was the state that was believed to be the deciding one in this election year, which apparently was true. It was Ohio’s 18 Electoral College votes that got the President his second term in office.

The Obama team has been given lots of praise for their hard work and dedication to the campaign with their success in getting people out to vote. Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University, credited them with for being “Miles ahead of the Romney team as far as being able to pin point supporters and getting out the vote.”

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President Obama Wins Re-Election

President Barack Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney to earn a second term as President of the United States by an Electoral College count of 332 to 206 on November 6.

Obama won 26 states and the D.C district while Romney won 24 states. Obama won major swing states such as Ohio, Colorado and Florida. Obama also won the popular vote by approximately three million votes.

Susan Pagano, political science major and first time voter, felt this was an exciting race. “It was the first time that I was able to vote, and I am glad that it was in such a thrilling election. I, personally, was ecstatic with the outcome because I think President Obama has the superior plans for the direction of our nation,” said Pagano.

Nicole Bizzoco, political science professor, was surprised about aspects of this race. “I think the campaign leading up to was unprecedentedly expensive, negative and plagued by small-issue debates on both sides. That being said, I did feel there were real differences between the candidates on a number of issues, social issues such as women’s rights and marriage equality in particular. I was surprised by the president’s margin of victory; I was expecting a much closer race.”

The age group of 18 to 24 accounted for 19 percent of the electorate. This has forced both parties to now deal with issues important to this age group.

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Sandy “Rocks the Vote” Like a Hurricane

In an election filled with new obstacles, such as mandatory photo identification, New Jersey and the surrounding areas were inundated with their own unforeseen trials. While many voters around the nation battled long lines to cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election, citizens in areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy struggled to get their voices heard and their votes cast.

More than 1 million New Jersey residents and businesses were still without power on Election Day, eight days after Sandy made landfall. With polling stations among the thousands of buildings damaged, voting in storm-ravaged states involved unparalleled challenges.

Voters in the tri-state area faced confusion as temporary polling places and alternative voting methods were being established in the wake of the storm. While some poll sites lacked power to run voting machines, others were flooded, damaged, or were located in buildings being used as refuge for displaced storm victims.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took his normal down-to-business approach and ordered election authorities to offer displaced residents the option of requesting a ballot electronically ; the same procedure followed by the state’s overseas and military residents. This directive is also intended to come to the aid of displaced first responders, whose tireless recovery efforts away from home have made voting a challenge.

“Listen, go vote tomorrow,” Christie said on the Monday before Election Day. “There’s only 100 polling places across the state that had to be moved or changed. For most people in New Jersey who are watching or listening, you go to your normal polling place.”

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Campus Posts Low Scores on Judiciary, Higher on Presidency in Outlook Poll

Outlook Conducts First Political Knowledge Poll

The Outlook ran an informal political knowledge poll where University students scored an average of four to seven correct answers. It contained questions regarding the presidency, legislature, judiciary and United States history.

The question that students got incorrect the most was: “Who is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court?”

Dr. Gregroy Bordelon, lecturer of law, said this falls in line with other facts. “It is in line with current research track I’m studying now. It’s not just Monmouth students, or even all college students for that matter, it’s the public in general. As the ‘Federalist Papers’ indicated, the judiciary is the ‘Weakest department’; others have called it, ‘The Least Dangerous Branch.’ I think Americans’ knowledge about the courts is situational, only when big events (spurned from the political branches) are being considered by the Supreme Court.

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Round Two Rumble Review; Round Three Next Week

politics-debate-picsAfter a lackluster first debate performance, President Barack Obama had a difficult task ahead of him for the second debate.

On Tuesday, October 16, Americans saw President Obama bring back the energy sought by worried members of the Democratic Party, definitely winning him the award for “Most-improved” from the first debate in Denver on October 3.

While the President appearedmore animated and his performance had improved enormously from the first debate, both President Obama and Romney’s arguments seemed overshadowed by the confrontational and argumentative nature of this debate. With a third and final debate to go, both candidates appeared likely to stand their ground and ensure their standing in an already tight race just two weeks before Election Day.

The event was sponsored by the Departments of Communication and Political Science and organized by Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, associate professor of communication; Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department, and students from a variety of majors came out to attend the University’s second debate screening last Tuesday.

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Every Four Years a Presidental Communication Course Comes to the University

Every four years there is a special class offered at the University and a presidential election to go with it. The Communication Department offers a special course that focuses solely on the election, originally, back in 2008, the class was cross-listed by the Communication Department and Political Science. The course gives students a chance to discuss the issues and have a bipartisan explanation of what each candidate has said or done.

The class mainly focuses on the role of communication in the presidential campaign through dissecting a number of things that occur as the election goes on. According to the course description, there is a strong focus on the “rhetoric, advertising, mass communication, debates, and the Internet” aspects of the campaign and how each candidate using all of these techniques.

Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, associate professor of communication, is the instructor for the course this year and explains that the idea of having this class started in order to give a deeper look into the communication that occurs during a presidential campaign. “Presidential rhetoric is a focus of my scholarship and a large part of other courses I teach (Political Communication, Rhetoric & Persuasion), but those classes don’t provide an opportunity to get into as much depth about presidential campaigns as a special topics course,” said Phillips-Anderson

The class takes a very bipartisan look at both President Obama and Governor Romney. Everyone is able to speak openly about his or her beliefs, and disagree as he or she chose. It is a comfortable environment to learn and discuss politics honestly. It gives you both sides of the argument, which is definitely beneficial to undecided voters and students who have already made up their minds.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151