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Political Science Professor weighs in on Midterm Election: Immigration driving many to the polls

Come Tuesday, will we see the blue wave that has long been predicted or will it be a red tide?

Those are just some of the questions that political analysts are trying to examine hours before the polls open.

Experts in Santa Maria say more and more people don’t believe the polls after 2016’s Presidential Election, noting that anything could happen .

Daniel Payne has been teaching Political Science at Allan Hancock Community College for close to two decades. He says his students’ biggest concerns with the upcoming election center around immigration.

“They worry about with the current administration’s take is on immigration and citizenship and how do you obtain citizenship, some of the statements that have been made,” said Payne, Professor of Political Science.

Some voters in Santa Maria say that hot button issue will have an influence on their ballot.

“Pretty much lived on the Central Coast my whole life and we’re just seeing a lot of people just pouring into our country, we don’t know who the are, they haven’t been checked out or anything,” said Robert Strange, a Santa Maria voter.

The professor with an expertise in American Government says voting trends this year center around enthusiasm and anxiety to vote.

“This Midterm is nationwide going to have the greatest voter turn out of any in the history of the country for Midterms and it rivals a lot of General Elections for President,” said Payne.

Payne says the issues at hand, candidates running and our current state of government are driving more people to the polls

“We have to be more Democrat on it, we can not let [President] Trump, all these happenings where all these Jews they were killed I think what he’s doing is enticing all these things, other people do it for him” said Marta Jaurequi, a Santa Maria woman who voted via absentee.

With healthcare and economy also labeled as top concerns, Payne says as voters continue to become more polarized, there’s a growing disillusionment with the two political parties. Therefore, he predicts that Tuesday’s results are going to come down to the moderate base and undecided voters.

“A couple to watch would be Florida and Georgia in their races for Governor. There’s a district in Kentucky, in Lexington, Kentucky, a very close race between a Republican and a Democrat. It’s been a Republican area, if the Democrats carry it, it could foretell the rest of the country,” said Payne.

Closer to home, Payne is keeping a close eye on Measure U and the Gas Tax Repeal.

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