Election 2012: Illinois voters weigh in
March 20 was the day of the Illinois Republican primary. I went to three different polling places, in 3 different cities in Lake County, Illinois. The towns that I visited were Lake Forest, Highland Park, and Winnetka. All are suburbs of Chicago. Over the course of the day, I spoke with six women and three men.
Preferred Presidential Qualities?
The people that I spoke to desired different qualities in their President.
Lake Forest voters identified “sincerity,” and “recognizing and respecting the different values of people” as valuable presidential attributes. Melanie Rummel, a Lake Forest voter, would like a President who can help our country overcome its economic challenges.
Among Highland Park voters, two of them told me that they want a President who “is honest,” and one said she wants a president who “cares about the working people.”
In Winnetka, voters that I spoke with would like to have “a President that is in touch with reality,” “cares about healthcare,” “makes good choices for everyone,” and who can “put the country back on track.”
The overwhelming majority of voters that I spoke with said that the economy was the most important issue in our country today.
Ralph Keen from Lake Forest had this to say about the economy: “The economic recovery, and keeping it underway is the most important thing. The economy is a necessary thing, and until that is fixed, everything else is a luxury.”
In Highland Park, the environment and the economy were on voters’ minds. Highland Parker Hannah Higgins stated that the biggest issues for her were support for the middle class, and the environment.
In Winnetka, it was about healthcare as well as the economy. Husband and wife Tom and Elizabeth Joyce share similar opinions - he cares about the long term health of our country, and she cares about healthcare in our country.
Jennifer Frient, also of Winnetka, thinks that it is a big problem that all of the debt that our country has accrued will be passed on to its children.
The battle for the Republican nomination for president, also known as “the primaries” started in January, and ends in June. During this period, candidates attempt to inspire Americans to to vote for them; and often try to convince them not to vote for their competitors!
Five out of nine people that I spoke with thought that the long primary will hurt the Republican candidates’ chances of winning, because their individual weaknesses will be revealed; and many will make each other look bad with “attack ads” and related campaign tactics.
One-third thought that the long primary battle wouldn’t be relevant to the results of the race.
One person even thought the prolonged process would have a positive effect because they thought that it would give the candidates a greater opportunity to clarify themselves and their positions.
In Lake Forest, voters were satisfied with the candidates, and didn’t identify anyone that they wished were in the running. In Highland Park, one person wished that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was a candidate. Governor Jon Huntsman was a popular choice in Winnetka, as three voters said that they wished that he were still in the race.
Who won the Illinois primary? Check out my story on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website to find out!
Photo: Kid Reporter Natalie Wexler outside one of Illinois' polling places on March 20, the day of the Illinois Republican primary. (Courtesy Natalie Wexler)