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Campaign '92 Special Pullout Section Firday, October 30, 1992 The Michigan Daily
1992 will mark increases in voter representation
U Election will see high
turnover and likely increase
of female participation in
Congress, analysts say
by Lauren Dermer
Daily Government Reporter
This is the
All right, get ready for this.
My grampa is voting this year.
Since you probably don't
know my grandfather, you
probably don't understand the
big news. All my life, I've
asked my relatives to tell me
who they are planning to vote
Every time, my grandfather
has replied, "I'm saving mine
for the Big One"
This, of course, raises many
questions - namely, what
exactly is the Big One? Is it a
candidate? Is it an election?
Nobody knew, and my
grampa would nevertell.
Based on our choices this year,
I'm going to guess that the Big
One is an election, not a
There certainly aren't any
Big Ones on this year's ballot.
Nevertheless, my grampa is
voting this year, so this
election must be special
My grampa is not the only
one reacting this way. Nation-
wide, people are taking a
revived interest in the political
scene. The campaign is
dominating dinner conversa-
tions. People who never before
cared about politics are
planning election night parties.
However, in this process,
something has been lost. This
election has been reduced to
sound bites and infomercials.
Some voters are relying on The
Comedy Channel and MTV for
their election coverage.
Goodbye, Walter Cronkite.
Hello, MC Lyte.
For better or for worse, this
is democracy in today's
society. What it means is that
more people are going to vote
this year. But is that necessar-
The Comedy Channel has
resorted to smart-aleck
captions on the bottom of the
screen to hold people's
attention during the debates.
Personally, I don't want more
people to vote if they're
making their decisions based
on who had the best one-liners.
Face it, the guy working on
the assembly line doesn't
economics. He only knows .hat
he just lost his job.
So when this person hears a
candidate say that he is "going
to get America back on its feet
and put the power back in the
hands of the people," he votes
Two problems. One, every
candidate has already said that
in one way or another. More-
over, the statement doesn't say
So people are making their
decisions not on what the
candidates say, but how they
say it. Few voters understand
the issues well enough to make
informed choices, and the
candidates aren't helping to
If you want to teach the
politicians a lesson, skip the
sound bites, turn off MTV and
The Comedy Channel, and find
out what these candidates are
While most eyes are focused on the highly
volatile presidential race, the 1992 election is
shaping long-term significant trends - toward
increased government representation and citi-
Regardless of which candidate occupies the
Oval Office next year, he will be working with
a large number of new Congress members con-
verging on Capitol Hill.
Congress is on the brink of what some have
called a historical change, with hundreds of
Senate and House seats up for grabs in Tuesday's
The new Congress that will convene in Janu-
ary will consist of at least 99 new people due to
retirements, deaths and incumbents who lost
their primaries or are seeking other offices.
Analysts said this turnover - which will
create the largest incoming class in a generation
-could mean significant changes in the Legis-
"It creates a potential for big changes," said
political science Prof. John Kingdon. "There's
been quite a lot of talk about reform."
Kingdon said campaign finance is one area
of possible reform - which could go as far as
He also cited increased power to congres-
sional leadership and a higher success rate in
passing economic reforms as other potential
The congressional turnover in the 1992 elec-
tion will also test the spirit of what many have
called the "year of the woman" in politics.
Tuesday's election will break records on the
number of women vying for seats in Congress.
There are 108 female House candidates -
71 Democrats and 37 Republicans - and 11
women running for the Senate -10 Democrats
and one Republican.
There are currently two women in the U.S.
Senate and 29 in the House.
Political science Prof. William Stearns said
an increase in women could result in a more
"If more and more women are elected, it
could self-perpetuate, and convince other women
to take part in the American political process,"
And the possibility that Tuesday's election
will boost the number of women in Congress
has prompted an outpouring of campaign con-
tributions from women's organizations nation
Jane Danowitz, executive director of the
Women's Campaign Fund in Washington, said
her group - which donates money to abortion-,
rights candidates - has doubled its member-
ship and donations, which will reach about $1
million this year.
And voters have apparently caught the po-
litical fever of participation. Voter turnout is
expected to increase across the country.
In Michigan alone, a record 6.1 million resi-
dents are registered to vote, accounting for 89
percent of the voting-age population. This fig-
ure is up from the 5.9 million who were regis-'
tered in 1988.
The Student Vote
U-M students register en masse
in final days
by Lauren Dermer
Daily Government Reporter
The polls say Bill Clinton's lead
over President Bush has narrowed to
2 percent. The polls say Clinton's
lead is holding at 10 percent. The
polls say Ross Perot's popularity is
rising. The polls say Perot has passed
The only thing that appears to be
definite in the race for the White
House is that it has come to a dead
heat - and the next four days will be
vital for swaying the undecided vote.
DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS
But what does the 1992 presiden-
tial campaign really mean for the
future of the administration?
When Congress returns in Janu-
ary, it will face a different kind of
president, whether it is George Bush,
Bill Clinton or Ross Perot.
If Bush returns to the Oval Office
for a second term, it will be with the
memory of how consistently he trailed
behind Clinton until the final stretch
of the campaign.
Political science Prof. John,
Kingdon said the change in George,
Bush would be thathe would not be up
for re-election and would not have to
worry about breaking any promises.
William Stearns, also a political
science professor, said the American
public would see "no radically differ-
ent George Bush if he's re-elected .
but exactly the George Bush we all
know right now."
"The idea of a mandate from the
public is thoroughly meaningless,"lhe
added. "It is a gesture that politicians
use to try to sway the vote."
If Clinton wins the race, the coun-=
try will see the first Democratic presi-
dentin 12 years, matched with aDemo-
cratic Congress -a tandem that wields
the power to shut down partisan fii-
"It would make for a much more
efficient government for a change b-
cause the government and the Con-
gress won't be deadlocked," Stears
And although it appears unlikely:
that Ross Perot will be elected, his
campaign has had a profound effect on
See PRESIDENT, back page
Rep. Ford faces Geake
in quest for re-election
by Hope Calati
Daily Government Reporter
State Sen. Robert Geake is mak-
ing a spirited challenge against in-
cumbent Rep. William Ford in the
13th District race for the U.S. House
Ford, a 28-
(R-Northville), who has represented
western Wayne County in the state
Senate for 15 years.
Both candidates said they want to
create jobs in Washtenaw County,
including the Willow Run area in
"Michigan is one of the least com-
petitive states for attracting busi-
nesses," Geake said. He added that
Michigan has high workers' compen-
sation rates and high property taxes.
can do to hurt
that is helping
Geake said. Geake
Ford echoed Democratic presiden-
tial candidate Bill Clinton's message
saying that improving the nation's in-
frastructure is vital to domestic
See CONGRESS, back page
Everybody knows there is an
election Tuesday. Here are
some more facts about
elections, past and present:
There are 23 candidates for
president. Three states have
14 on the ballot. There are
seven in Michigan.
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Four seeking two seats on Board of Regents
Those elected will set tuition and campus policies on the U-M's
by Karen Sabgir
Daily Administration Reporter
Michigan voters on Tuesday will
elect two people to the U-M Board of
erstadt, who serves as a non-voting
The regents' duties include set-
ting tuition, promoting faculty mem-
Philip Power - live in the city.
McGowan said she feels her ac-
cessibility to the U-M community is
essential. She offered to meet with
Hills, said he also thinks accessibil-
ity to students is important. "You're
responsible if you're a member to
consult with your constituency," he