With the results of yesterday’s gubernatorial election in, many students and faculty members say the outcome would have been different had there only been fewer candidates.Republican Gov. Rick Perry was re-elected with 39 percent of the votes, while Democrat Chris Bell came in second with 30 percent. Independents Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman drew 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
“I think everybody expected this,” said Ralph Carter, chairman of the political science department.
Because anti-Perry voters split their votes among Bell, Strayhorn and Friedman, their voices were not heard, Carter said.
“It would have been interesting if it had been Perry versus one serious challenger,” Carter said.
Valerie Martinez-Ebers, associate professor of political science, said she agreed.
“If it had been two people,” Martinez-Ebers said, “it could have been very different.”
As of 4:03 p.m. Wednesday, both Perry and Bell received more than one million votes. Strayhorn ended with 788,135 votes, Friedman received 552,719.
Though the votes did not spell a win for them, Ben Dalton, a senior political science major, said the results were good for third parties.
“It looks like third-party candidates had a lot of influence,” Dalton said.
Assistant professor of political science Adam Schiffer said Perry’s win was very much expected.
“The polls never really budged,” Schiffer said.
Martinez-Ebers said she expected it as well.
“It wasn’t a big surprise,” she said. “The polls have been showing this for the last month.”
Dustin Ray, a sophomore accounting major, said he had hoped Bell would win but wasn’t expecting it.
“It’s good for a change once in a while,” Ray said.
– Michael Bou-Nacklie contributed to this story