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Elections ‘roller coaster ride’ for Kiwis in the United States

Nov 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

US DIVIDE: Kiwi students say the gap has widened between the US parties and public since the elections

THE US elections have created a divide among American citizens, fuelling what is described as a “tumultuous” separation between Romney and Obama supporters.

For New Zealanders Michael O’Keeffe, 22, and Jonathan Raj, 23, who both attend Fairfield University on football scholarships, the election was unlike anything either had seen.

The public perception that the elections have split America is completely accurate said Media Studies student Michael.

“It seems you either love Obama or hate him, there is no middle ground. I feel it has divided America so much.”

Jonathan, 23, said he loved the lively atmosphere, which was very different to that of the elections in New Zealand.

“It was fascinating. I loved it to be honest. I had never experienced something like that but to be in the heart of it was unreal […] something I would never forget,” said Jonathan.

Both said they were shocked at first by the impact the elections had on people around them. However, they now understand why people were so concerned about the outcome.

“These candidates and presidents put a lot, a significant amount of time, effort, money and resources, like it is unbelievable what lengths they go to for such power in a country that some would say dominates this world,” said Jonathan.

“The elections are a huge deal, not only for America but in terms of the world as well, […] to be a part of it and see first-hand what goes on was very interesting,” said Michael.

In the days following the election, Michael described the atmosphere as “tumultuous”, saying while Obama supporters were cheering and celebrating, Romney supporters were angry.

Jonathan said the past week has been a hangover period for people, as they come to terms with the re-election of president Obama.

“Those Romney fans are calming down now and realizing they have to get on with life.”

He said it has been a “roller coaster of a ride” and now everyone just wants to get back to their everyday lives.


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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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