When several people hear the word “politics,” they often stop listening to the conversation and begin thinking of more pleasant things, or try to change the subject. However, there are actually several people who are fascinated with the political process. And it is safe to say that we all know that one person who is often uneducated, but always opinionated when it comes to political issues… okay, it’s more like twenty people.
The point is that there are just as many people completely uninterested in politics as there are interested, if not more. What's worse is that most of these people will be heading to the voting booths this November to elect our Chief Executive, our Commander in Chief, and the one who is informally known as the 'Leader of the Free World.'
Yet most people know NOTHING about the person they are voting into this position. #nobigdeal
I'm clearly being sarcastic; it IS a big deal! Voters need to know this stuff before entering the polls, and that's exactly why I am writing this. The voters should and must know what is going on if we want to make things better.
March 6th marks one of the biggest events in a Presidential Election year: Super Tuesday! Super Tuesday is the day that the most states vote on one single day and therefore, the largest amount of delegates cast their votes for a primary candidate. Whoever receives the most delegates will win the party’s nomination for Presidential candidate, and this is the start of the awarding of delegates. Super Tuesday can give great insight into who may win the nomination.
This year, as the Democratic Party have an incumbent in Barack Obama, Super Tuesday will only really concern the Republican Party. So, it is vital that anyone who is unimpressed with the current President or unsure of whom to vote for pays great attention to this event!
In order to win the nomination, a candidate must receive 1,144 delegates. So far, 353 votes have already been awarded. Out of these, Mitt Romney leads the Republicans with an outstanding 203, Rick Santorum follows with 92, Newt Gingrich has 33, and Ron Paul lags with 25 delegates.
Let’s break this down. Essentially, over the past 3 months of voting, 353 delegates have been awarded. On Super Tuesday, there will be 419 delegates at stake. Therefore, there are 66 more delegates available to be won on a single day than there has been in the past 90 or so days! This is a huge deal.
On top of the enormous amount of delegates awarded on this day, the states holding primaries are states that can be extremely impactful on the elections. For example, Ohio is VERY important to the nomination process of a party’s candidates due to the diversity among its population. The diversity means that a broad range of people with different backgrounds, cultures, ideals, socioeconomic statuses, etc. will be voting. This means, whoever is chosen in this state has a greater electability – which means they would be able to receive votes from all different kinds of people. Electability is imperative to winning a general election as America is made of a very diverse population.
As this plays such a large role in the deciding of who will be President this November, this is definitely something all potential voters should be aware of. I suggest that everyone do some research on your own about each of the candidates and what they stand for if you have not yet done so! There is no reason for ignorance by any voting eligible American who plans on participating in the November elections!
Once this November arrives, you cannot simply arrive at the booths, go in, and pick someone without knowing anything about them. It is disastrous and extremely unhelpful.
And when I say do your OWN research, I mean it. Don’t phone a friend, don’t turn on MSNBC, Fox News, or CNN, and don’t rely on ads and commercials to inform you. Your friends are likely biased and may not have the same views as you. As for the news media outlets, they also tend to be biased and can offer a few seconds of airtime to politicians. Therefore, the station chooses what you get to hear and see and how this information is portrayed to you.
Relying on advertisements is not wise either, because they use visual and audio cues that will reappear in an uninformed voter’s head when they read familiar names on their ballots. Also, negative ads are more likely to be remembered than positive ads. For example, an advertisement by Mitt Romney bashing Newt Gingrich could likely cause the uninformed voter to avoid to Gingrich and potentially win Romney a vote, no matter how much he agrees or disagrees with him.
We’ve got a nation that is potentially headed in a not-so-fantastic direction, and as a member of the generation that will soon be leading this country, I feel it is absolutely vital to our success to choose someone who will not only stop the country from heading the wrong way, but point it in the right direction. Most reading this article are not only college students, but Clemson students, so I know that we are more than intelligent enough to help this country maintain prosperity and to keep it moving forward. It is our duty, and this is the easiest thing we can do! So, do it!