Students look for different characteristics in presidential candidates


As the primaries are ending, the nation’s focus is beginning to shift to the presidential election this November with Barack Obama on the Democratic ticket and a yet-unchosen Republican candidate. As the election is still months away, voters have time to determine the criteria they want the candidates to meet before casting their votes.

Since the upcoming election decides who will hold the most powerful and important public office in the country, the various aspects of each candidate are meaningful to the voters.

K-State students have a variety of ideas regarding the most important characteristics for a candidate to have.

Zachary Nichols, sophomore in business administration, said that honesty is the most important aspect for a candidate to have or aspire to.

“We have candidates that will say something and it will have a double meaning,” Nichols said. “We have had candidates who were not genuine to get more votes.”

Nichols said individualism is what separates a candidate from others in the same party or those running opposite on the ticket.

“I would like for a candidate to stick to their opinion and make themselves an individual, make themselves an individual and not this member of that party,” he said. “You don’t need to be nice, you need to get the job done.”

Megan Burch, sophomore in accounting, said the ability to communicate with the people is important for a candidate.

“Publicity,” Burch said. “Talking to people and telling them what they are about and being there to listen to what the people are about. Getting your name to the public is the most important because it puts your name and your goals into the conversation.”

When a candidate takes a specific stance on an issue, the public generally won’t know about it unless the candidate reaches out to the voters.

Chris Bode, junior in personal finance, said the political platform is the most important.

“I don’t think it matters who they are just as long what they are trying to do or change fits what I value,” Bode said. “I’m not picky on the person.”

Many students spoke about the most important aspects to any conventional campaign. Reaching out to the voters, having a plan and consistency in policy are all important things to consider.

Joseph Perry, sophomore in journalism and mass communications, said attitude is the most important.

“Considering the times we live in now, the most important thing is not speaking out against the opposition,” Perry said. “Going about telling people ‘no’ and ‘you cannot do that’ doesn’t work because that is not proposing work.”

While some students have a clearly-defined view of what they want in a presidential candidate, others are not so certain.

Cameron Norris, freshman in open option, said she doesn’t pay attention to politics.

“I don’t care, I’m a freshman,” Norris said. “I’m too young to care and too young to be affected by what goes on in politics.”

The entire spectrum of the characteristics for the ideal candidate: consistency, exposure, platform and optimism, Perry said.

“The most important thing is putting forward what is good for the country,” he said.