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Howard Students View 2024 Trump, Biden Rematch for Presidential Election As Less Than Ideal

With the U.S. presidential election looming, Howard students share their varied reasons for supporting or opposing candidates Biden and Trump.

Illustration by Jabari Courtney.

This year, two presidential candidates will face each other in November to be elected U.S. president. Between current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, many students expressed reluctance to vote for either candidate. Nevertheless, support for Biden appears to be growing on campus due to distrust of Trump.

 “I just don’t feel like he’s a good representative of this country. Let alone me as a Black, African American woman,” Kalahari Deprez, a senior journalism major from Miami, said about Trump.

For Deprez, the choice is made easy in two aspects.

As a first-generation Haitian-American, Deprez says that Trump had spoken terribly of Haiti in the past, referencing a 2018 comment where he listed the country among others as a “sh*thole.”

As a theater arts minor, Deprez said that she hopes the Biden administration will continue funding the arts.

“I feel like over the years the arts have gotten more and more attention,” she said. “Especially in terms of representing African American artists and also international African artists, just from the diaspora as a whole.”

Although many students will likely support the current President for his re-election bid, not all feel that way.

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Fifth-year architecture major Christiana Bennett from Baton Rouge and Arnaudville, Louisiana, spoke about her disapproval of Biden’s human rights policies in Palestine.

“There’s a humanitarian crisis as long as Biden keeps guzzling funds to Israel, co-signing the mass murder of Palestinian people and decimation of land,” Bennett said on the Biden administration’s response to the conflict.

Bennett’s frustration with the Biden administration also echoes the sentiment of many Americans towards the political duopoly between Democrats and Republicans.

“I don’t like his policy. I don’t like his cabinet and right now he does not have my vote,” she said. “I can’t keep co-signing the lesser of two evils. I’ll still vote, but they’ll have me vote in third party.”

One thing that seems to be lacking on campus, is support for Trump.

As Howard appears to have grown more politically liberal in the last several years, it is very hard to find a student who openly supports Donald Trump. Political groups have become less active over the years despite growing political awareness on campus. 

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Howard Student College Republicans, one of the most conservative student groups on campus, has been reduced to a somewhat active Facebook group, signifying the lack of participation in right-wing groups on campus.

Although Howard students may be comfortable with voting for Biden over Trump, polling shows weakness in the President’s economy for plenty of young voters.

In a YouGov poll from February, 34 percent of Americans polled thought Biden would do a better job on the economy, compared to 47 percent who preferred Trump in this aspect. 

In the same poll, 28 percent of voters between 18 and 29 preferred Biden to handle the economy, and 36 percent of voters preferred Trump.

This info comes with continued concerns of inflation and rising housing costs without any signs of abating soon.

President Biden seems to be optimistic about spending, with a proposal for next year’s budget that sets aside trillions of dollars for housing initiatives.

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Reducing the costs of child care, college and housing expenses are a few goals of Biden’s to tackle in the budget, alongside increasing taxes on the rich and modifying Medicare taxes.

Additionally, Biden appears to rely on support from Howard for this year’s election, following his speech at last year’s graduation, where he emphasized the importance of protecting democracy.

“To confront the ongoing assault to subvert our elections and suppress our right to vote,” Biden said.  “That assault came just as you cast your first ballots in ‘20 and ‘22.  Record turnouts.  You delivered historic progress.”

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell

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