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Students Hit Polls in Large Numbers

Local voters braved gray skies and chilly weather to support their favorite candidates in yesterday's presidential primaries as election officials called the voter turnout unusually high.

Eddie G. Marchesseuot, 66, an inspector for the election commission at Ward 8, Precinct 3--the Quincy House polling site--said he was impressed that 156 voters showed up.

"Primaries don't mean much," he said. "One time we had 22 [voters]."

At the Quincy site, voter turnout was 27 percent, with 86 percent endorsing a Democratic candidate and the remainder voting on the Republican ticket.

A Crimson poll earlier this week showed that 50 percent of Harvard students who described themselves as Democrats supported former Massachusetts Sen. Paul E. Tsongas.

Tsongas last night captured Massachusetts by a wide margin, showing that many state Democrats shared similar sentiments.

Former California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. was also popular among those interviewed.

Elye J. Alexander '94 said, "I'm not entirely thrilled with anyone in the field, but Jerry Brown seems to be the best choice."

But many students said they voted for someone else because Brown was such a longshot.

"Brown is fabulous but he'd never win. He's an honest politician," said Gabrielle C. Burton '92.

Electability, not ideology, seemed to be the criterion by which many Harvard students were choosing their candidates.

Despite Clinton's third place showing, some students interviewed as they left the polling site on Mt. Auburn Street said they voted for Clinton because they believed he has the best chance of winning the general election.

"He's much more electable than other Democratic candidates," said Jason L. Furman '92.

Samuel A. Newell '92 said he felt Clinton could be another John F. Kennedy '40. "[Clinton] believes in the constructive use of government, and is clearly the most electable," he said.

Defeating President Bush was a high priority for most of the Democratic voters interviewed. Burton said, "I voted mainly for someone who can win. We need a change."

Although most students who took part in the Republican primary said they voted for Bush, conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan also received some votes.

Andrew W. Kirk '94 said, "Buchanan is the best man for the job because he's smarter and more conservative than the other candidates."

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