We asked: Do debates affect your vote?

The Nov. 6 presidential election is 18 days away. We asked students lying on the South Mall enjoying the fall breeze if they watched the last two debates or read the coverage, and if so, whether or not President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney’s debate performances will influence their vote.

“I don’t watch the debates, but I read coverage of them online in different national newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times, so they will affect the way I vote. I feel like how people handle themselves in the debate situation, not necessarily the actual ideas that they express, is a really good indicator of their leadership qualities. And their ability to communicate is really important to me, and something I look for [when I read about the debates]. At this point I haven’t come to a decision yet, but what I’ve seen has really influenced my opinion.”
—Jeannie Binder, Plan II, music and French fifth-year from Corpus Christi

“I don’t watch the debates, I don’t follow the coverage, and I’m not voting. Honestly, I forgot to register.”
— Amanda Andrade, biology freshman from Richmond

“I don’t watch the debates, I don’t follow the coverage. I mean, I know what goes on, but that doesn’t interest me. I think both candidates are childish.”
— Ryan Arnett, architecture freshman from Richmond

“I watched the first debate. I don’t think it’s going to influence the way I vote at all because they just talk about bullshit anyway. It’s more of a pointing and yelling match than a real issues conversation, so no, I don’t think it will affect how I vote.”
— Anna Pope, Latin American studies senior from Wimberley

“I watch the debates. I read the coverage occasionally. The debates will influence the way I vote. The first one didn’t, but the second one did. I’ve been undecided for a long time, but during the second debate, I thought the candidates’ opinions were clearer, and I could identify with one of them more than the other.”
— Regan Hann, studio art junior from McKinney