URI students, faculty cite anger, harshness of primary campaigns

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KINGSTON, R.I., March 23, 2016 – From insults to outlandish claims, and policy to predictions, this year’s presidential primary races have captured the nation’s attention.


We spoke to some University of Rhode Island students and faculty members to see what they had to say about this year’s primary elections.


“I have watched a few of the debates, and I am still very confused on where I stand,” said sophomore James Giannone. “I think that one area I would like to see the candidates talk more about is the depletion of the middle class. Since 1967, the middle-class share of income has gone down about 10 percent, and that’s a serious problem we face, said the political science major.


Sophomore and entrepreneurial management student Jake Hartman said that the debates were pointless. “Aren’t the Democrats suppose to side with the Democrats, and the Republicans side with the Republicans? These guys are just betraying each other left and right,” said Hartman.


A URI professor expressed similar sentiments.

“The tone of the election is harsh and adversarial,” said Regina Bell, chair URI’s department of Public Relations. “I am concerned voters and people who are reluctant to vote will be turned off by the negative attitudes of the candidates. I do hope to see the candidates focus on global warming, climate, educational issues and health care. They should try and stay focused on the issues rather than engaging in negative energy,” said Bell.


Senior Marissa DeOliveira is a political science major. “ The tone of the primaries have been fearful so far,” she said. I think both parties are afraid of Donald Trump. I would like to see the candidates talk more about protections against tyranny, abortion rights and gun control,” said DeOliveira.


“We basically have a civil war going on in the Republican Party,” said Barrett Jourdan, political science major. “The media is controlling the election tremendously. I would like to see the candidates talk more about foreign policy and gun control,” said Jourdan.


Dom LaFerrera, an intern in the marketing and communications department, and a communication studies major, wrote this release.


Regina Bell, James Giannone, Marissa DeOliveira, Jake Hartman, Barrett Jourdan