As primary kicks off, students discuss candidates

Students spoke to The Temple News about their top issues this cycle and who they will vote for.

“Temple for Bernie” members Sam Slavitt, a senior computer science major, Peter Ditzler, a junior film and media arts major and Sam Collington, a junior political science major, collect signatures to get Bernie Sanders on the ballot for the Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania at the Bell Tower on Jan. 30. | WILL STICKNEY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The primary season officially kicked off last night with the Iowa Caucuses, and Temple students are weighing their options of Democratic and Republican contenders ahead of Pennsylvania’s turn to vote on April 28.

As of Monday night, the results of the Iowa Caucus were not released because of a “reporting issue,” the New York Times reported. 

The Temple College Democrats held a mock Iowa Caucus on Jan. 28. Sanders was the top choice among voting members, while Buttigieg came in second and Biden third, said Daisy Confoy, the president of Temple College Democrats.

Student groups affiliated with individual candidates will be registering students to vote ahead of Pennsylvania’s deadline to register for the primaries on April 13, Confoy said.

“As the president of Temple Democrats, I’m trying to just give candidate groups the resources they need and kind of publicize the groups and let people make their own decisions about who they want to support,” she added.

Temple College Republicans could not be reached for comment.

Students who spoke with The Temple News listed their top elections as health care, education, the environment and economic equality.

Clare Korbisch, a freshman industrial engineering major, supports Warren’s policy goals, she said.

“In America, education costs are ridiculous compared to other colleges, and unfair,” Korbisch said. “Also health care. A lot of kids take longer to graduate and they aren’t on their parents insurance. My savings should go to my loans and not worrying about how to pay.”

Sam Slavitt, a senior computer science major, organized for Sanders in the 2016 primary and is organizing ahead of the 2020 primary.

He supports Sanders because he has the strongest position on environmental issues.

“He’s the only candidate that makes sense to me,” Slavitt said.

Lilia Grabenstein, a sophomore political science major, said she supports Sanders and does not care for any of the other candidates.

“Warren switched parties, and he’s the guy who will at least improve some things,” Grabenstein said. “The College For All program is great, but Medicare For All makes sure you don’t need to pay for food and health instead of college.”

Cassandra Licenzi, a freshman theater education major and member of Temple for Pete, a group supporting Buttigieg’s candidacy, said her candidate would allow students to have more choice of their health care.

“I like his idea of ‘Medicare for All Who Want It,’” she said. “That way, you don’t force people into the Medicare they don’t want.”

Cassandra Licenzi, a freshman theater education major and member of “Temple for Pete,” collects signatures to get Pete Buttigieg on the ballot for the Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania at the Bell Tower on Jan. 30. | WILL STICKNEY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Turnout among young Democrats will likely be high this year, said Michael Hagen, a professor of political science. 

“The candidates are paying some attention to young people,” Hagen said. “The ideas are pretty sweeping made by some candidates on how they would abolish student debt.”

Climate change and the economy also place high among the priorities of voters under 35, The Hill reported.

Every major Democratic candidate supports some version of a Green New Deal, a term generally used to refer to a spending package on clean energy, fossil fuel extraction bans and, in some versions, job schemes, Axios reported.

However, this may not mean much in the primaries, Hagen said.

“Environmental ideas will be central in the fall campaign,” he said. “None of the candidates has really differentiated themselves from the others on this issue.”

When asked who she supported on climate, Monet Gregory, a junior political science major, yelled “Bernie!” enthusiastically.

“I think his views most align with mine,” Gregory said. “On education, environment, focusing on the regular American, he’s more leaning left, like I am,” she added.

On the economy, Sebastian Bingham, a sophomore engineering major, likes Andrew Yang’s stance on student debt and plan to give $1,000 a month to every American adult, he said.

“He has a different perspective on things,” Bingham said. 

Students who are Republican or conservative told The Temple News they support Donald Trump.

“For our party’s best interests is for the Democrats to split the vote across the board,” said Chris Kaye, a junior supply chain management major. 

Kaye opposes free tuition because taxpayers will have to shoulder the costs, he said.

Tyler Miller, a freshman communication studies major, is a registered Republican and supports Trump but likes Sanders’ free tuition plan for public university students, he said.

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