Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/washington/news.aspx?id=101093
Story Retrieval Date: 5/24/2013 11:40:59 PM CST
Frank N. Carlson/MNS
WASHINGTON -- Midterms did not keep college Democrats and Republicans from crowding into the American University student union to watch the third and final presidential debate.
With Democrats seated on the left side, and Republicans on the right, the students watched as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain sparred for 90 minutes over the economy and other domestic policy issues.
In Washington, Democrats and Republicans don’t ordinarily enjoy spending much time together. It makes them itchy. On debate nights, though, the two groups sometimes put their differences aside to watch the wrangling together.
At American U. on Wednesday night, students explained the draw of watching debates alongside those from the opposite party.
“Well I think it’s important to socialize on campus and it just makes it more entertaining that you’re with others and you can see how people react instead of watching … by yourself,” said Jordan Beneliyaha, 20, a Democrat and a double major in Spanish and sociology from Long Island.
“Being in a group like this helps me solidify my own position,” said Brad Tidwell, 21, a Republican from Houston, Texas majoring in political science.
“The temptation of free food also helps,” said Luke Falcon Sapp, 19, a Democrat and political science major from Florida.