AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)- Dean of the University of South Carolina College of Mass Communication and Information Studies and former CNN Correspondent Charles Bierbauer has seen a lot of election cycles, but none quite like this. He reflected on the 2016 race at an event at USC Aiken Tuesday night.
Bierbauer covered the White House, the Supreme Court and several presidential races.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with presidential candidates at almost all levels or government,” he said. “As a political correspondent for CNN, I covered five presidential campaigns: 1984 to up the 2000 campaign.
He says the nation is especially weary this election cycle.
“This has been the longest siege I think that anyone has had to deal with,” he said.
But he says the amount of information can be a good thing, and voters should take advantage of the resources available.
“None of us should depend on one source for information. Period,” Bierbauer said.
He says that Millennials in particular should take note, since they will live with the consequences of the outcome for the longest.
“I really want to hear Dr. Bierbauer’s take on the election because to say the [least], this is a very interesting election year,” said USC Aiken sophomore Alex Richardson.
Bierbauer says we should know which way the Republic is leaning by Tuesday evening after voters in East Coast swing states have cast their ballots.
“By the time the east coast has voted, unless we are hanging on tender hooks waiting for Nevada, we should know relatively early whether it’s a Hillary win or too close to call, based on the numbers,” he said.
But after billions have been spent on campaigns at all levels of government, the final choices come down to the American people.
“It’s up to you, folks,” Bierbauer said. “The government we get is the government we deserve.”
U.S. elections tend to have relatively low turnouts. In 2012 about 54 percent of the voting-age population exercised that right. For comparison, Belgium, Turkey and Sweden all had more than 80 percent turnout in their latest national elections.