Presidential Election

Penn State Students React To Presidential Election

Nov 9, 2020
Penn State Student Abby Kelley said she was "very happy" Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election.
Abby Kelley



On Saturday, the Associated Press called the presidential election for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Some Penn State students talked about what they think Biden’s election might mean for human rights, student debt and other issues. 

Nancy Thomas is the Director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. She discussed the challenges student voters could face in the upcoming presidential election, and what colleges and universities can do to eliminate barriers and motivate students to get out and vote. 

This interview is from the Democracy Works podcast, a collaboration between WPSU and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. The Institute’s Jenna Spinelle interviewed Nancy Thomas.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke visited Penn State University Park on Tuesday and spoke to a crowd of hundreds about how he wants to serve the country.
Min Xian / WPSU


Calling for respect and unity that he said will lead to common ground, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited Penn State University Park on Tuesday and spoke to a crowd of hundreds about how he wants to serve the country.

The former congressman from El Paso, Texas, is the first declared presidential candidate for the 2020 race to host a public event in Pennsylvania. Coming from previous stops in critical swing states like Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, O’Rourke said his “grassroots road trip” is really important to him.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks at Rec Hall on Penn State University Park's campus.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Bernie Sanders addressed a crowd of over six and a half thousand people in Penn State’s Rec Hall. Sanders talked about the New York primary. He criticized the state’s voting laws barring registered independents from voting in primaries.

Sanders also looked ahead to next week’s primary in Pennsylvania.

“Let us have the highest voter turnout in Pennsylvania history. And let Pennsylvania go forward and tell the world, you are going to lead this country into a political revolution,” he said.

Kerri Del Collo interviews Helen Roback
Emily Reddy / WPSU

With political campaigning in full swing, at least one class at Penn State is taking advantage of this year’s elections as a teachable moment.

Penn State professor Russ Eshleman reported on elections for 15 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer. So it was a no-brainer for him to make this year’s election the focus of his Reporting Methods class. During a recent class, he had residents of Foxdale Village retirement community come in to be interviewed by his students.