Super Tuesday is almost upon us, and you know what that means! On March 1 ten primaries and five caucuses will occur across the nation. The race towards to the presidency has certainly proven to be an interesting one for both the GOP and Democratic party, and the tomorrow is certainly an influential day. In the spirit of Super Tuesday, HCE conducted a survey to see where Emmanuel students stand.
Before diving into the results, let’s take care of the basics. First, who is still in the race? Well, the GOP began with 15 candidates, and has since narrowed down to five: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump. Jeb Bush very recently suspended his campaign after the Republican primary in South Carolina earlier this month. Trump is currently the frontrunner, followed by Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, and finally Carson (who, for the record, currently has less delegates that Bush who is no longer running). The Democratic Party began with three candidates. Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign after the Iowa Caucus, so now Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are left to fight for the bid and Clinton is currently in the lead.
Second, let’s ask some questions in the back of many people’s minds- what exactly is a caucus, and how do candidates get delegates? In it’s simplest form, a caucus is when voters meet at predetermined locations and state who they are supporting. During this meeting, discussion is also incorporated. It’s sort of like an interactive, communal, primary. While the specifics of the process can differentiate between parties, overall the amount of votes per candidate in each location translates into delegates. A GOP candidate will need 1,236 delegates to win the nomination, and a democratic candidate will need 2,383. If there is not a candidate that receives the required number of delegates, then the delegates will continue to vote until there is a majority.
So, how do Emmanuel students feel about the election? This sample was 30% freshmen, 12% sophomores, 30% juniors, and 28% seniors, resulting in a well mixed group across classes. The vast majority are following the election and registered to vote. The majority are registered democrats, while 32% are registered independent and 11% registered with the republican party.
Amongst all the candidates in the race (at the time this included Jeb Bush), over half of participants are feeling the bern and selected Bernie Sanders as their favorite. There were votes for all other candidates except Carson and Bush, and Clinton came in second. When asked specifically to choose the GOP candidate they prefer, every candidate received votes. Rubio is in the lead with 33%, but Kasich closely follows with 30%. They were followed by Bush (14%), Cruz (10%), Trump (9%), and Carson (4%). When choosing their preferred democratic candidate, Sanders received support from 68% of participants putting him ahead of Clinton in Emmanuel student’s eyes.
In terms of specific issues, it is no surprise the most participants listed education as an issue they care most about. This was often in reference to affordable education. There was also a large interest in the economy, foreign affairs, social injustices (specifically in relation to racism and the LGBTQ population), and women’s rights. The large amount of responses for women’s rights included healthcare, reproductive rights, overall inequality to men, and the wage gap. Other frequently stated issues were immigration, healthcare, the environment/climate change, and gun control. All these, with the exception of climate change, had stances on both sides of the arguments represented.
Overall, Emmanuel students seem to fit in with the stereotypical Boston-student-liberal image. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! As November approaches, it is important to stay engaged. To help voters keep up with the election, NBC News has comprised a website that keeps track of the candidate’s progress, recent news, and also includes a primary calendar. We only have one shot to vote for the 45th President of the United States, and right now it is anyone’s game. Become educated, get involved, and cast your vote.