Students see no clear winners after early caucuses and primaries
Following the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, CU students have no idea who the front-runner is for either of the two main parties.
“Nobody stands out,” said Kit Preeo, a sophomore open-option major who is currently enrolled in a course on the American political system. “It’s cool because it’s actually a real debate, anybody could pull it off.”
No candidate for either party has won more than one state primary or caucus at this point, except for Mitt Romney among the Republicans who won the Wyoming caucus, in the presidential primary race. Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, John McCain and Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary, and Mitt Romney won the Republican primary in Michigan on Jan. 15.
William Jaeger, a first-year political science graduate student, believes that the multiple winners for the Republicans points to a split in the party’s base.
“Bush was able to unite economic conservatives and evangelical Christians,” Jaeger said. “Now, when you look at the base, the candidates have divided it. Huckabee appeals to Christians, Romney appeals to economic conservatives, and McCain appeals to people because they think he’s the most electable.”
Jaeger said that he was also impressed with McCain’s “comeback” in New Hampshire.
“The fact that McCain won [New Hampshire] was one of the most striking comebacks in Presidential politics.”
Mark Corti, a 23-year-old political science graduate from CU, thinks that the lack of a front on either side is the result of the way the primary system is organized.
“People don’t know what they want,” Corti said.
Corti is highly critical of the current system of choosing candidates and believes that the United States should adopt a parliamentary election style similar to that of the United Kingdom.
“I’d prefer we chose a party and they chose their leader, or at least have a single national primary,” he said. “A small state like Iowa shouldn’t have that much power.”
Regardless of who emerges as the eventual front runner, Corti said that he is so frustrated with the current system that he does not plan on voting for any of the candidates this coming November.
“I voted in 2002, and I don’t plan on ever voting again,” he said.
Steven Vanderheiden, a political science professor, said he believes that the race will continue to be competitive for some time.
“It looks like we will have competitive races at least through Super Tuesday (Feb. 5) on both sides.” Vanderheiden said. “The later states might count in a way they haven’t for some time.”
Vanderheiden also said that the race will become much more intense as time goes on.
“We’ll see lots more ads, lots more money being spent, and a lot more debating,” he said. “It’s going to be a bitter fight.”
For a transcript of Tuesday night’s Democratic debates aired on MSNBC, click here.
For CNN’s national coverage of the Presidential primary race, click here.
Contact Campus Press Reporter Rob Ryan at email@example.com