COLUMBUS, Ohio — After spending the morning not finding many young people heading to vote (maybe they were waiting for later), I took to the streets to find out what people were up to on Super Tuesday in the most scrutinized swing state in the 2012 election.
“What are you doing today?” I asked young people on the Ohio State University campus on a day when their state was offering up the second-biggest delegate prize of all 10 Super Tuesday contests. But, as an experiment, I didn’t bring up the primary, because I wanted to see if they would.
Victoria Aeling: “I plan on painting.”
Shane Wiegerig: “Volunteering.”
Zach Gray: “Class and going to the bank.”
Clearly, some had no plans. Many admitted they had no idea today was the day that could turn the tide in the long, bitter scramble to finally find a solid GOP front-runner to take on President Obama in November.
But it wasn’t long before I landed at an all-guys apartment, which they referred to as their “trashed pad.” There was a beat-up pool table, dirty kitchen and holes in the wall. You would think this was strictly “Animal House,” but they were watching CNN and, yes, following Super Tuesday results. I quickly realized there weren’t any generalizations to be made in this crash pad.
Joe Doll was a simple guy. He shrugged his shoulders. “If they are a cool guy and they are realistic about things then I’ll vote for them,” he said of GOP hopefuls such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. “People don’t see the candidates as serious, so they aren’t taking it serious.”
Brian Bode spoke with conviction. “I am voting, but I don’t think it will make a difference, because our Congress is controlled by lobbyists,” he said. He wasn’t happy, and it was easy to tell. If Libertarian pot-stirrer Ron Paul wasn’t in the running, Brian wasn’t planning on voting.
Then there was the incredibly outspoken Mark Jepsen. “I went to riflery class today,” he said.
OK, fair enough, I thought. Guy has a hobby, maybe doesn’t care for — wait, he continued …
“I registered to vote … not far away from here. Not sure if I am going to do it. … Probably will work out later. … Other than that, not too much. Maybe see a movie, may go out and drink. I think of politics as poli-tricks.”
In Ohio, it was clear that everyone I spoke to looks at government in a very different way. I can see that this certainly is a swing state. Some have no idea it’s Super Tuesday, others have been waiting for this day for a long time, and then there are the ones who feel so totally disconnected from the current political discourse that they won’t even bother.
Whoever ends up winning the nomination certainly has work cut out for them.
MTV has Super Tuesday covered, with reporters on the scene in Georgia, Ohio and Massachusetts! Check back for up-to-the-minute coverage on all the primaries, and stick with Power Of 12 throughout the presidential election season.