Standing between the 56 granite columns of the World War II Memorial donning shorts and a t-shirt, David Johnson, 31, toured the site with his wife and parents.
Sixteen months from the 2016 presidential election tourists like Johnson already are looking ahead to the barrage of political advertisements, speeches and debates that will shape the next year and a half. Regardless of political party, issues are diverse and the election season is expected to drag on.
“I would hope that they focus on the real issues rather than the crap that goes through the 24-hour news cycle,” said Johnson, who counts issues including net neutrality and money in politics as top election priorities.
Many citizens feel the need to elect a candidate who will focus on these issues and others.
Gregory Pratt, 27, said he would like to see the candidates address student debt, while Bianca Perez, 30, is looking for greater focus on the economy, especially for middle and lower classes.
“I hope people don’t vote based on party lines but instead on what the candidates have to say,” Pratt said.
Perez, however, had a different vision for the outcome of the election.
“I hope that we can get a candidate that can continue the progression of our country,” Perez said. “A lot of steps have been taken towards more acceptance in our nation, and I hope whoever the new candidate is can continue in that path.”
While most voters have high expectations and are passionate about the candidates’ talking points, some are skeptical and even indifferent.
Angel Cleves, 44, said that she doesn’t “really trust a lot of politicians. I guess. So that’s my concern: what they say they’re going to do, they do.”
American University graduate Logan Combest-Friedman was not keeping up with the election developments.
“I don’t have many expectations,” Combest-Friedman said. “It’s the same thing every time.”