Biden vs. Trump: a sequel

“It is not fair that we need to vote out of fear”

Published by Annabelle Chipps, Date: April 7, 2024

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, students feel they are again faced with the choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. 

“This is shaping up to be a fascinating election with some very certain, disappointing results,” Liam Bull, the secretary of College Progressives, said. 

The Rocket sent out a survey that garnered 11 responses from SRU students about their election opinions. 

45.5% of those surveyed identified as Democrats with 18.2% claiming to be Republicans and 36.4% as Independents. 

Students on both ends of the political spectrum reported dissatisfaction with their parties’ leading candidates. 

“Unfortunately both choices are not what we want, however, we need to choose the lesser of two evils,” an anonymous participant said. 

Although, the “lesser of two evils” means different things to different students. 

72% of respondents said they would prefer Biden as their president, while 18.2% said Trump and 9.1% said “neither.”

“I really don’t think Trump or Biden represent the best leadership either party can offer,” an Independent user said. “Trump is too divisive a figure for the country, and having him re-elected could negatively impact the environment around issues such as abortion rights and trans healthcare. Biden isn’t the best either…I think he should’ve pressed harder on his promises.”

Republican students also expressed disinterest in Trump.

“I think of myself as more center, so I would just prefer it not be him,” Vincent Tavolario, the public relations chair for Turning Point USA (TPUSA) at SRU, said. “I think his constant name-calling and trying to go after the other side stalls the business of the nation.”

According to TPUSA President Allison Mahonski, the organization itself cannot endorse a particular candidate. She personally was interested in several Republican candidates but acknowledged that Trump will most likely be the nominee. 

“I just feel like he’s so well known because of his presidency, because he’s been on TV, his media presence,” she said.  “I feel like Donald Trump is going to get a majority of the republican votes and I agree with his views on a lot of things so I guess that would be why I support [him].” 

Tavolario and others stated that they would have preferred a more moderate candidate. 

“If he’s the nominee, I guess I’ll think about it,” Tavolario said. “I just feel as though Trump as a person is antithetical to the Catholic values that I grew up with…I feel that character matters in choosing the leader of the free world.”

A Republican student also discussed Trump’s character in the survey. 

“The majority of people who are against Donald Trump are against his character/personality, not his actual policies and political views,” they said. “Most big news media companies (i.e., CNN, MSNBC, ABC) tend to take Donald Trump out of context or focus more of their reporting on him, despite not having been in office for three years.”

Still, many Republicans feel they will choose Trump over Biden. 

“Anything in my opinion is better than what we have currently,” Mahonski said, “costs about $60 to fill my car with gas every time I drive so it would be nice to see prices go down…I’m thinking Biden’s more worried about the overturning of Roe v. Wade than making America seem like a dominating global power.”

A survey respondent said, “The high price of gas, high price of groceries, diminished value of the dollar and an open border allowing drugs and criminals into our nation have forced us to turn to Trump.”

Students on the left expressed distaste for both candidates as well.

“I think it’s pretty clear now that Donald Trump is running a campaign of vengeance. He’s flirting with some very conspiratorial authoritarians and fascistic figures. And if he is reelected, it’s gonna get ugly,” Bull said. “Joe Biden is perpetuating a genocide in the Middle East with the war between the Palestinians and Israel, and he’s very advanced in his age. So there’s a big question as to whether or not he will even make it to finish a second term.”

Bull said that his candidate of choice would be third-party candidate Cornel West. “[West] might not be on the ballot here in Pennsylvania because there’s some huge structural issues with getting put on the ballot as a third party candidate.” 

“That being said, I live in one of the most important states in one of the most important elections…if he’s not on the ballot, I probably will be holding my nose and voting for Joe Biden, but I’m certainly not going to be urging everyone to make that decision,” he said. 

Other students who lean Democrat cite human rights as their begrudging reason to vote for Biden. 

“I will not vote against the rights of women, LGBTQIA+ people, or other marginalized populations. Considering the mass overturning of Roe V. Wade and the constant attack on the queer community, I fear for this country and our rights if Trump ever wins again,” a survey respondent said. “It is not fair that we need to vote out of fear.”

For them, Biden does nothing but reinforce the status quo. For voters on the right, he is too extreme.

“I kind of feel like the candidates now have to embody the extremes of both parties in order to get [on the ballot],” Mahonski said. She and her fellow TPUSA e-board member called for unity.  

“I think we’re working certainly concerning ourselves with superficial things that don’t seem to matter in the long term compared to China, invasion. I just feel like that should be the priority, rather than entangling ourselves in these cultural wars,” Tavolario said. 


“We have a record number of independent candidates and third-party candidates who are polling pretty high. But we have two extreme candidates in Joe Biden and Donald Trump that are exceedingly unpopular and advanced in their age. We’re most certainly getting one of them,” Bull said. 

Polls in swing states are currently trending towards Trump both as a nominee and overall. 

“[Trump] has won in Iowa and New Hampshire and Michigan,” Tavolario said. “I think he won Nevada as well. At this point, he has a lock on our party…if he stays on this path I think he will be the next president.”

Though only 18.2% of students The Rocket surveyed said they want Trump to win, 36.4% said they think he will. 

 “The reality is Biden is probably going to win the popular vote. Trump has never even come close to winning the majority of votes in the election, but it doesn’t matter. It’s going to come down to a few important swing states,” Bull said. “The unfortunate reality is Biden is exceedingly unpopular, not inspiring and he doesn’t get people out to vote and that’s particularly young voters, minority voters.”

“If you’re a student here, make sure you register to vote…get engaged in the political process,” he said.


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