More than 60 Augustana College students turned out Wednesday night to view the first 2012 presidential debate.
In the moments before the debate, Steve Klien, Augustana professor of communication studies, asked students what they hoped to hear from President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Jobs came up immediately. So did the deficit. One student said he wanted to hear more in-depth details of Mr. Romney's plans. Another wanted to know what the Affordable Care Act -- also known as "Obamacare" -- was actually about.
Christopher M. Whitt, assistant professor of political science at Augustana, asked students how many were registered to vote. Many -- but not all -- hands shot into the air.
Mr. Whitt told them registering wasn't the only thing they needed to do.
"I don't care who you vote for," he said, "but vote."
Zack Wheeler, 19, a sophomore and a Democrat, said if he could ask the candidates a question, it would be about their views on tax cuts for larger businesses: give them cuts or tax them more. Mr. Wheeler said he thought cuts would be more effective for smaller businesses, helping them and their communities.
After the debate, Mr. Wheeler said he believed Mr. Romney did a good job defending his points against inaccurate claims, while President Obama did a good job calling out Mr. Romney about things he had said and the legitimacy of his ideas.
Kelsey Wrightwood, a 19-year-old sophomore and a Republican, said she would have liked to hear more details from both candidates about how they would create jobs. She said Mr. Romney informed her more about how he would do things overall.
"I feel like I learned more about Romney's plan than I did Obama's," she said.
However, she also thought the president showed more concern about the immediate effects repealing Obamacare would have on people.