HPU students schooled on politics through Republican debate

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A little less than two weeks ahead of the North Carolina primary elections, students at High Point University gathered to watch the latest Republican Party Presidential Candidate Debate together.

The students may be able to make up their own mind on a candidate to back but political communications and political science professor Brandon Lenoir wants them to understand why politicians use the tactics they do.

“Hosting events like this on campus allow us to take the students out of the classroom and use current events as a learning tool,” said Lenoir. “Watching the debate and applying what they've learned in the classroom studies is priceless.”

Lenoir asked student to keep up with the stance candidates take on key issues.

“Jobs are going to be very important,” said Lenoir. “The nature of our state being a swing state it will be interesting to see how far right these candidates go versus how far left the Democrats go.”

He also told students to be wary of attack strategies used by candidates.

“It sticks to people who haven't made up their mind,” said Lenoir. “It doesn't really resonate or have an effect on people who have already thrown their allegiance behind a candidate if anything all it does is make a person double down.”

One of those undecided voters is HPU junior Eric Wallace.

“We've each followed a specific candidate and it's been interesting to see how the candidates have a different strategy as they approach the election,” said Wallace.

Wallace had been following Jeb Bush until he dropped out and has now been asked to watch Hillary Clinton closely.

He said, like many potential voters, he’ll be also watching for the intangibles that make a candidate stand out in a way that earns his vote.

“I'm trying to keep an open mind,” said Wallace. “Right now I'm pretty undecided.”