Young voters surveyed leaning toward Clinton

November 01, 1992|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,Staff Writer

The name of Towson State University student Shawndre' Jones was misspelled in an article yesterday about first-time voters.

The Sun regrets the error.

Marc Baine is the kind of Republican President Bush could do without.

A Republican by birth -- his father is active in South Florida GOP circles -- Mr. Baine cast his first-ever vote this year -- an absentee ballot for Democrat Bill Clinton.

"I think Clinton is more in tune with America," the 21-year-old Morgan State University junior said yesterday. "President Bush represents the aristocracy and old money, and Clinton doesn't have that."

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Like many young first-time voters interviewed yesterday at Morgan and Towson State Universities and at Mondawmin Mall Friday, Mr. Baine accused the president of ignoring domestic economic concerns and only taking action when he is forced into it.

"It scares me," he said, "I've had many family members and friends who have lost their jobs, and the job market will be very tight when I graduate in 1994. It's really scary."

Mr. Baine is not alone.

The informal, random interviews showed the young voters to be a thoughtful group, weighing the options in choosing a candidate.

Most said they watched the televised debates among the Arkansas governor, President Bush and independent candidate H. Ross Perot.

And most said they would go to the polls Tuesday, ready to cast their first votes in an unconventional presidential election year.

Governor Clinton's message of change has struck a chord, and many seem willing to take a chance on him.

"I'm voting for Clinton because he might make a difference," said Lisa Hancock, 20, salesperson at High Energy, a Mondawmin clothing store.

Although Mr. Clinton evoked more enthusiasm than his opponents, none of the candidates set the young voters afire. Several said they wished they had others to choose from.

Lisa Fleischmann, 20, of Stewartstown, Pa., said she would like a Perot-Clinton composite. "I like Perot's policies but not his attitude; I like Clinton's attitude but I'm not sure about his policies. President Bush just hasn't done much."

Shawn Dre', 19, of Randallstown, also said she would prefer a Perot-Clinton combination, and that while she is still "going back and forth," she expects to vote for the Arkansas governor.

Wesley Powe, 18, of Colorado Springs, Col., a Morgan State freshman, said he agrees with Mr. Clinton that it's time for a change, but added, "I think he's the lesser of three evils."

Most of the students dismissed President Bush's attacks on Mr. Clinton for his draft avoidance and the matter of "trust" as irrelevant.

"It's all just mud-slinging," said Towson State freshman Robert Hobson, of Eldersburg. "I feel like all the candidates are slinging mud."

However, for Ken Feher, 19, a Towson State sophomore from Columbia, the draft question "was a big thing" in his decision vote for President Bush.

Mr. Feher, who said he nearly joined a friend in the Marine Corps before heading for college, said he supported the Persian Gulf war and considers Mr. Bush's defense policies sound. He is not so happy with the president's economic policies.

Stephen Welch, 20, assistant manager at a Merry Go Round clothing store at Mondawmin Mall and a second-year student at the University of Maryland Medical School, said, "I'm going for Clinton. He's more down to earth in general. George Bush doesn't move until things explode in his face."

A saleswoman at the store, Tillena Wolfe, 19, said, "Bush had his years and he messed up bad. I'm for Clinton.

"Perot? Perot is a clown."

Mr. Perot was not bereft of support, however, and Susan Horner, 20, of Frederick, and Judy Lieber, 19, of Oceanside, N.Y. were emphatic about it.

"Ross Perot, definitely!" Ms. Horner exclaimed, "because he's the one who can get down to the issues." Ms. Lieber said she had voted by absentee ballot for the Texan "because I like his economic policies. He can learn about foreign policy later."

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