DUNEDIN, Florida — As MTV’s Power of 12 tagged along with the Mitt Romney campaign on Monday, we saw three very pumped-up, supportive crowds who knew just when to put their hands together for the former Massachusetts governor.
As the crowd shuffled out of picturesque Pioneer Park on Monday afternoon, college student and waiter Adam Rezendes, 24, was feeling pretty confident about who he was going to cast a vote for in Tuesday’s (January 31) Florida primary. “I am going to be voting for Mitt Romney,” he said. “I believe in Mitt’s conservative views and [his desire] to stop the federal spending and repeal Obamacare. He’s got a lot of great views that really appeal to me. … I trust the country in his hands more than any other candidate.”
At the same time, some members of the Occupy movement were facing off with Romney supporters who took umbrage to the sign they were toting which read, “Dear Mr. 1% Go Fire Yourself. Love, The People. Not Corporations.”
Recent high school graduate Emily Rogers, 19, has been staying with her friends in Occupy Tampa after logging time with Occupy Orlando, and she was definitely not there to support the GOP front-runner. Rogers had made the trip north a few days earlier to attend Friday’s hearing on the state’s controversial new voter-registration laws.
And while she didn’t agree with Romney’s take on the legacy of the Obama administration, Rogers wasn’t necessarily throwing in with anyone else, either.
“At this point, it really doesn’t matter who you’re voting for, because you’re picking between a lesser of two evils,” she said. “Which, in my opinion, is not how the government should run when it’s supposed to be for the people. You can line them all up like bricks next to each other, but one is really not that much better than another. You’re picking from red-orange to orange to yellow-orange, and those are your options.”
As discouraged as she was about her choices for president, Rogers said she was even more concerned about the raft of states with new voting laws she fears could dissuade young voters from coming out to the polls this year. “The voter suppression laws will definitely have an impact on students and young people,” she said, noting that college kids who have changed dorms and not updated their address on their voter registration could find their votes invalidated.
“Your vote won’t even count. Students that have that knowledge, they don’t even want to go out and vote because they think, ‘Well, my vote’s not going to count anyways, so whey even vote?’ “