American flag

New leadership calls for new change. And with the general election coming up, UF students expect a drastic one from the winning candidate.

Senators Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and former vice president Joe Biden are the three Democratic candidates still in the race. Current President Donald Trump and William Feld, the former Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, are the two Republican candidates.

In 2018’s midterm elections, there were 8,967 Democratic voters from 18 to 25 years old and 2,370 Republican voters from the same age group, said TJ Pyche, spokesperson of the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office. 

The presidential election will affect Gainesville just as much as any other election, said Lance Fischer, a 19-year-old UF chemical engineering freshman who supports Sanders in the Democratic race.

Fischer, the vice president for Students for Bernie Sanders, said some of the major changes offered by Sanders for college students include free public college tuition and student loan forgiveness.

“The Bernie platform is going to be hugely revolutionary for our college campus on the free public college tuition platform, because people will no longer have economic barriers in pursuit of higher education,” Fischer said.

Sanders' platform has high enthusiasm and speaks much more to college students, which Fischer said he believes gives Sanders an advantage over Biden. 

“The Biden campaign has really done nothing to win over young voters, and we are a huge demographic in the upcoming election,” Fischer said.

Bruce Glasserman, however, said he disagrees that Biden doesn’t have a chance with young voters. The 20-year-old UF political science sophomore released an interest form for a possible new organization, Students for Biden. But this process has been complicated due to concerns from COVID-19.

Glasserman said Biden is an experienced Democrat who has achieved progressive results, such as helping pass the Affordable Care Act and getting involved in the Paris Agreement.

“I am a big supporter of his plan for higher education,” Glasserman said. “ For people who are low income or lower class like myself who have needed Pell Grants to attend the University of Florida, he’s increasing funding so students can attend and get their education.”

Glasserman also said he believes Biden’s platforms are more realistic to pass compared to Sanders’ platforms when it comes to student tuition and pell grants. 

However, being under the same leadership will still bring a difference, said Brittany Vankirk, a 20-year-old UF dietetics junior. She said she believes the economy is currently thriving during Trump’s presidency.

Vankirk says she feels like if Trump were re-elected, the social dynamic of campus would change, meaning that the conservatives and Republicans on campus will be uncomfortable speaking about their beliefs.

“I think, whoever wins the presidency, it's definitely going to impact how students interact with each other,” Vankirk said.

Contact Anna Wilder at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @anna_wilder.