SCRANTON — The third presidential debate of the campaign season took place Monday and students and faculty members at the University of Scranton gathered to watch the event.
The crowd inside the DeNaples Center was smaller than previous debate watch parties; only about three dozen people turned out for the final face-off that centered on foreign policy.
The students who watched seemed to listen intently to what President Obama and Mitt Romney had to say, and with just 15 days to go before election day, it seems most have their minds made up.
“I mean, al-Qaida is on the run. He captured Osama bin Laden. He’s done a lot of good things. He made this country a lot safer, I think and there hasn’t been any major attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, so I think that’s a major accomplishment,” said Matthew Gentile, president of college Democrats.
“I think for him, he needs to show that he can truly lead this country, not only here economically, to get us back on track, but as well, overseas, to be that strong head of state, that chief of staff that can lead us effectively and keep terrorism out of the country,” said Donald Castellucci, president of college Republicans.
“It’s usually a pretty small percentage of the voters who, a month out before the presidential election, haven’t decided yet, and now that we’re two weeks into it, many of the students have showed up for the first three debates, I think have pretty much locked in their views right now, said political science professor Michael Allison.
Polls show the race for president to be essentially a dead heat with a little more than two weeks remaining before November 6.
It was young voters like those at the University of Scranton who were credited with helping Barack Obama to a comfortable victory four years ago.