Race for the Presidency: Time to Pick the Nominees

You can count a few of these faces out, but theres still a plethora of presidential candidates heading into the primaries.


You can count a few of these faces out, but there’s still a plethora of presidential candidates heading into the primaries.

Dahlia Cruz, Staff Writer

It’s that time again – the race for the presidency of the United States is in full swing.

For now, the contenders are vying for the nod from their political parties, in advance of the Nov. 8 elections and final decision.

On Feb. 1, the Iowa caucuses will begin the primary voting contests for presidential candidates. Though the state only has six electoral votes towards the election, it is a highly favorable state to win over. This is simply because it is first. The mass coverage of the event can propel nominees into the momentum they need to capture the attention and support from voters in the remaining states.

No one can predict beforehand how the caucus will turn out. According to The New York Times, at this point, Donald Trump leads the polls for Republicans at 31 percent with Ted Cruz following at 26 percent. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson lead those straggling behind with 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively. There is a little hope for the candidates trailing. The last Republican presidential nominee to actually win in Iowa was George W. Bush in 2000. He ran unopposed in 2004.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads with 52 percent and Bernie Sanders is second with 40 percent. Martin O’Malley is at 6 percent. O’Malley might still have a chance but if his support does not meet 15 percent at a caucus, his supporters will become “nonviable.” If this is the case, then these citizens will become highly coveted by Sanders and Clinton. They could very well make or break the outcome for either candidate.

Following the Iowa caucuses will be the first primary, held in New Hampshire which holds four electoral votes. It is just as important for all the same reasons as Iowa. In fact, it could boost struggling candidates even more.

Nominees will be selected from the number of votes, giving individuals more of an impact. This differs from the caucuses where delegates are chosen in precincts. For Republicans there is a ballot vote. However for Democrats it is more complex as supporters separate themselves into groups and the competition for the most in a group will win the precinct.

There is then a formula to decide the winner from all of Iowa’s 1,681 precincts. Also, New Hampshire law does not require voters to be registered to a party before voting for that party in the primaries. This gives opportunity for those undeclared to have a say in the primaries.

At AIC, students and staff are watching, some more intently than others.

Lauren Phillips, an accounting major from Lee, Massachusetts, intends to watch the Iowa caucus and the rest of the primaries.

“This is when it gets serious. During the last few elections, I wasn’t as involved,” she said.

“However, seeing the drastic differences in many of the candidates now. I’m starting to get a little worried about where this is going, especially being a college student,” Phillips said. “Whoever wins this election is going to be our leader in the beginning of the prime of our lives. I hope many in our demographic realize how invested we should really be in this,” Phillips added.

Tamara Frater, a Springfield resident majoring in criminal justice, is not as excited for the primaries to begin.

“To be honest, other than when I vote in our state’s primary, I will pay more attention when the presidential nominees are announced,” Frater told The Yellow Jacket. “Either way, I will be voting for a Democrat. I think Trump will be the nominee and we can’t have that.”