Democratic primary election continues


Ellie Cowen, Staff Writer

The Democratic Party remains divided after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries on Feb. 3 and Feb 11. With the general election still months away, Sen. Bernie Sanders is the current frontrunner to win the nomination with 23 delegates.

Sanders was named the winner of the New Hampshire primaries, with 25.7 percent of the vote. Mayor Pete Buttigeg was second with 24.4 percent and Sen. Amy Klobuchar exceeded expectations and took home 20 percent and third place.

Sanders won almost three percent more of the popular vote in Iowa, but Buttigeg was named victor with one more delegate. The controversial caucuses received criticism for taking over a week to report the results, after the caucus chairs had trouble using the app.

Chairs were given no training to use the app and hold times to call in the results were more than 90 minutes, according to the New York Times. Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chair, blamed the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Troy Price. Price resigned on Feb 12.

Other states often turn to earlier primaries to distinguish a frontrunner in the race, giving voters in frontloaded state voters more power. This raises concerns because Iowa’s population is 90.7 percent white, and New Hampshire is 93 percent white.
Prominent Democratic figures have called to abolish the practice of early primaries. Former presidential hopeful Julian Castro said, “We can’t… continually and justifiably complain about Republicans who suppress the vote of people of color, and then turn around and start our nominating contest in two states, that… hardly have any people of color.”

Sanders has secured support from young voters, whereas minorities have remained loyal to Biden. After polling less than 10 percent in New Hampshire, Biden tweeted, “99.9% – that’s the percent of African American voters who have not yet had a chance to vote in this nomination process.”

Biden and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg are favorites of moderate Democrats, or those concerned with electability. More liberal candidates, like Warren and Sanders, have raised concerns about their ability to unify the party and beat incumbent Donald Trump. AP Government teacher Fevronia Cresham said she is “dismayed that the Democrats seem to be a little bit confused.”

Electability is playing a larger role in selecting the nominee than in previous years. Sophomore Julia Frangenberg said she thinks a moderate will be the best chance to beat Trump in November. She said, “if Trump doesn’t win that’s going to be why. It’s just purely because [the democratic candidate is] moderate.”

Others hold a more cynical view, that no nominee will be able to motivate a large enough majority. In 2016, Hiliary Clinton’s loss was attributed to a lack of young voters and minority support. Freshman Angelina Hermosilla Roman said, “I feel like none of the Democrats can win against Trump.”

The next states to vote in the primaries were Nevada and South Carolina on Feb. 22 and Feb. 29. Recent polls show Biden as a frontrunner, as well as Sanders and Steyer. Cresham said, “If Biden comes in and wins South Carolina, the whole tenor of the discussion is going to change.”

Bloomberg, armed with a $200 million campaign, has risen in recent polls surpassing Biden in Florida, according to the New York Post, up 10 points since polls from last month. Florida primaries are Mar. 17, two weeks after Super Tuesday and the Maryland primary.