As the 2016 presidential race continues, two student political groups on campus—the Temple College Democrats and the Temple College Republicans—told The Temple News who they believe are the best candidates to replace President Barack Obama next January.
Damien Bower, president of the College Democrats, said he was originally a supporter of Bernie Sanders, but he’s now undecided on Sanders or Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
“It wasn’t Hillary’s policies that draw me to the middle, it was more the unrealistic policies that Bernie had, and how he spoke [about] it mainly on Wall Street, which is a problem but it’s not the root cause of every single issue in the country,” Bower said.
Bower added he believes Sanders’ policies will have difficulty passing through a Republican-controlled Congress if he were elected.
“I’m glad that [Sanders] is bringing forth these types of ideas,” said Jordan Laslett, a member of the College Democrats’ finance team on the executive board. “However, I just don’t feel as though America and the Congress and the state legislature that we’re working with is ready for [him].”
Laslett, a Clinton supporter, said Sanders’ policies would scare both Democrats and Republicans due to the large amounts of spending on his proposals and the increased size of the federal government.
Before Super Tuesday, Clinton won three states—Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina—compared to Sanders’ one—New Hampshire.
In addition, Clinton won seven states on Super Tuesday—Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Massachusetts—while Sanders won four—Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Vermont. In six of the seven states Clinton claimed, she won the vote by a margin of 29 percent or more.
Despite Clinton’s early lead in the race, she still isn’t the favorite amongst College Democrat members.
Bower said about two-thirds of College Democrat members support Sanders. He also added college students see Sanders as “more of an honest candidate” and Clinton as more of a “flip-flopper” regarding specific progressive policies.
Travis Unger, chairman of College Republicans, said he’s not publicly endorsing anyone at the moment. He added College Republican members are split on supporting Sens. Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, and most members don’t support Donald Trump.
“[It’s] mainly because we don’t find that most of his policies align with the Republican party,” Unger said. “He’s not a true Republican, to put it bluntly.” He added Trump’s proposal of a single-payer healthcare system and stance on abortion doesn’t represent the ideas of the party.
He said Cruz’s policies are more conservative, but Rubio’s image makes him more appealing to young voters and he still follows Republican principles.
He said, however, he would support Trump if he were to become the Republican nominee.
Trump fared well on Super Tuesday. He won seven states—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia—while Cruz won Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas and Rubio won Minnesota.
Unger believes the other nominees of the Republican party still have time to bounce back to gain the lead over Trump.
“I think most of the [College Republican] members realize it will be a very long nomination process,” Unger said. “Their hopes aren’t down yet that Trump won’t be the nominee … and there’s still plenty of time for Cruz, Rubio or [former Ohio Gov. John] Kasich to gain some momentum.”
As of March 7, Trump won Louisiana and Kentucky and has a total of 384 delegates and Cruz won Kansas and Maine, bringing his total to 300 delegates. Rubio and Kasich have 151 and 37 delegates, respectively.
Additionally, Clinton won Louisiana and has 1,130 delegates and Sanders won Kansas, Nebraska and Maine, bringing him to 499 delegates.
Today is the Democratic primary for Michigan and Mississippi as well as the Republican caucus for Hawaii, and primaries for Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi.
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5.