Typical Musings from Dems Meetings

By Rachel Neuburger

The UC Dems meet on Thurdays at 6:00 pm in Harper 145. Come out tonight to hear from Daniel Comeaux (BA ’14), a UC Dems Alum who now works at Civic Consulting Alliance!

Last Thursday, the UC Dems met in Harper to chat about the state of the 2016 presidential race. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle where headlines, soundbites, and punditry inundate us from all corners – media social, traditional, and virtual alike – it was nice to take some time to go over the results, think about the implications, and to evaluate how the way we consume the news and the people who provide it to us change campaign narratives. What follows is a summary of a few of the things we discussed.

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We hope these two continue to duke it for the rest of the school year!

First, we looked at this table of the New Hampshire primary results:

Trump 35.3% 10 delegates Sanders 60.4% 15 delegates
Kasich 15.8% 4 Clinton 38% 9
Cruz 11.7% 3 O’Malley (!) 0.3% 0
Jeb! 11% 3
Rubio 10.6% 3
Christie 7.4% 0
Fiorina 4.1% 0
Carson 2.3% 0
Gilmore & Co. 0% 0

A few interesting points, as Mike Allen and various other news sources have written: First of all, pollsters predicted wins for Bernie and Trump in New Hampshire; these results show that the era of the pollster has not come to an end, as so many people have repeatedly predicted. The political milieu lives to fight another day! People are still voting for O’Malley. Gilmore is still running for president. As the New York Times so delicately (and, as much as it pains me to say it, condescendingly) put it, Trump voters actually exist

Then there are the drop-outs: Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina. We pretty much agreed with what a lot of us were reading online — that Christie contributed quite a bit to Rubio’s breakdown (down, down goes the rising star of the GOP) without actually doing anything constructive for the field or pushing the political conversation in a positive direction. He received only 7.4% of the vote in a state where he had the endorsement of a major newspaper. In New Jersey, his approval ratings are their lowest ever. We wondered if we’ll see him on the national stage again — will the tough-talking governor with prosecutorial experience be as appealing four years from now?

And, of course, we are faced with the sad fact that it is 2016 and in a field of nine candidates, only one is a woman. Farewell, Carly.

Journalists have been talking about the two “lanes” of candidates within the GOP field: the establishment lane (Kasich, Jeb!, Rubio) and the anti-establishment “outsider” lane (Cruz, Trump, Fiorina). Within these lanes are questions about appealing to evangelicals, moderates, independents, members of minority groups, and a whole lot of other demographics. What we learned in New Hampshire, though, is that intra-lane competition is far from over, and will continue until the very last days of the contest. With Kasich vying for the nomination like never before, Jeb Bush suffering from (some) highs and (mostly) lows that seem to come on a daily basis, and Rubio as rising star, then bruised gaffe-sufferer, and now up-and-coming South Carolina contender once again, the victor of the lane will not be resolved without an extended fight. Will a strong establishment contender (with the financial and communications backing of more traditional GOP-goers) arise to fight back the Trump/Cruz crazy? Who knows. Is the answer to this question very, very important to whomever wins the Democratic nomination? On this, we were unanimous: without a doubt.

Regardless: on to the South!

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump gestures towards rivals Rubio and Cruz during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston
Le Sigh

 

Rachel Neuburger is a second-year in the College. She is from Chappaqua, NY

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