From name-calling to FBI investigations, this election cycle has been a roller coaster ride for both candidates and voters. According to studies from The American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” report, just over half the people surveyed said the election “is a very or somewhat significant” source of stress in their daily lives.
Nevada, a swing state, has been the target for rallies and surrogates, and Nevada voters have been bombarded with campaign volunteer phone calls and home visits.
“We have never seen an election like this and for us to be in Nevada, in a swingstate, it is huge, it has been a lot,” said Megan McKeon, a student at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Voter anxiety was at an all-time high during Trump’s last rally in Reno on Saturday, where the candidate had to be rushed offstage by Secret Service agents. According to a Secret Service spokesperson, there was a commotion in the crowd at the rally and someone shouted “gun.” The spokesperson said there was no weapon found after officials searched the individual and the scene in question.
The individual was later identified as Austyn Crites, who told reporters the commotion began after he raised a “Republicans Against Trump” sign at the rally. Crites reported being assaulted by a group of people before anyone shouted “gun.” Crites said he was beaten and grabbed around the neck.
“Four years ago, I had no idea what was going on and that is to be expected from someone who doesn’t read the news in high school, but looking back it is crazy how much I was missing and how important it is for us to care now versus four years ago,” McKeon said.
Though election rhetoric has historically been negative and rallies have been intense, this election has been overly stressful for both Republicans and Democrats.
According to the APA’s “Stress in America” report, stress levels are equal among Democrats and Republicans. Among Republicans surveyed, 59 percent reported the election to be “a very or somewhat significant” source of stress in their lives. Fifty-five percent of Democrats surveyed reported the election to be a significant source of stress in their lives.
“It has been an unpredictable election. We all knew that Hillary came with certain baggage, and Trump is always unpredictable,” said Nancy Lutchfield, a Nevada resident and Hillary Clinton supporter. “Even after the election I think there is going to be a backlash should Hillary win, and we are all very fearful of what that might look like.”
Trump has said he would not accept the results of the election unless he is pronounced the winner. If Clinton wins he said he would be convinced the election was rigged against him.
Despite a number of Republican Party leaders’ claims that the election is a crucial part of American democracy and it could never be successfully rigged, Trump continues with the “rigged election” rhetoric.
“The only anxiety I would have about the election ending is if Donald Trump won the presidency and then I would be worried and scared,” said Alison More, a Nevada resident.
In Nevada, both campaigns have ramped up their efforts to target voters to be sure they will vote and support their candidate on Election Day.
“I am asked every day at least three times a day if I am registered to vote,” said Michelle Perkins, a UNR student. “I get a million calls a day, and I get that they are trying to get us to vote and support their candidate, but it gets to be a lot sometimes. Even when you leave the commotion on campus, when you get home and turn on the television all you see are negative ads and the candidates on the news.”
From threats of imprisonment to sexual assault accusations, this election has voters more anxious than ever to see the results.
Rachel Spacek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.