The presidential race is heating up for both parties as we are now down to two democratic candidates and four republican candidates.
The parties are in very different circumstances. The two candidate race in the democratic party is heating up, as Bernie Sanders is gaining a lot of ground with supporters. On the other side of the spectrum, Donald Trump has been ahead in the polls for months now. The only candidate to beat Trump more than once? Ted Cruz. Cruz won in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma and Texas, and he now finds himself down 384-300 to Trump in terms of delegates.
Trump has gained the most attention out of any candidate by promising that he will build a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants from crossing over to the United States. He also stated that he plans on forcing Mexico to pay for the wall. Though this has raised a lot of questions as to how it will help him win the republican election, Trump has surprisingly gained support with hispanic voters after his win in the Nevada Caucus.
On the other hand, Sanders, a socialist, has been gaining an abundance of support from young voters due to his promise to make college education free by heavily taxing Wall Street. Sanders believes that the best way to tackle Wall Street would be by way of his proposed bill “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist.” The bill would break up big banks and any companies that are considered to be too big to ever fail.
Though Sanders has been gaining ground in the democratic party, Hillary Clinton holds a solid lead of delegates over Sanders, due to the Democratic party’s system of superdelegates, and recently won the South Carolina Primary by a landslide. What Hillary has to fear, however, is the movement of Bernie’s campaign, something he says is going to “revolutionize government”.
Two Cape Elizabeth students, seniors Alex Mukai and Stephen Bennett, are feeling Bernie’s movement enough that they plan to create a club called Cape Elizabeth Students For Bernie Sanders. The club’s purpose would be to give Cape Elizabeth students who support Sanders a chance to converse about their candidate on a weekly basis.
“Since the Maine Caucus starts in March, it’s basically going to get kids who are advocating for Bernie Sanders by helping with campaigning or canvassing,” said Bennett.
In the Maine Democratic Caucus, Sanders won easily in what was a record turnout for Maine.
When asked about Clinton, Bennett explained why he stands on Bernie’s side.
“Between the two of them, I think she’s in it more for glory, whereas Bernie cares more about the people,” said Bennett.
“She’s been in Washington, she’s clearly proven to be someone who can be a viable candidate and someone who can do political work, but I don’t think she’s running on platforms that she thinks are electable. She’s trying to play the game, and I think we need to get back to the politics where it’s ‘this is my idea, and I’m not going to change it based on what you think’. The fact that he’s taken a platform and he’s run with it, and he said that I will get elected and live or die by this code is what Bernie Sanders has done,” said Mukai.
Mukai and Bennett also hope to inspire any students in the school to start their own conservative club.
What Mukai and Bennett see in Sanders, other students see in a Trump, Rubio or Cruz.
Michael Mangravito, a senior at Cape Elizabeth, said he supports Marco Rubio rather than Donald Trump.
“I think Trump is too aggressive and over the top,” said Mangravito.
Rubio and Cruz have become the only two candidates with any chance of beating Trump for the republican nominee, and both are now being recommended by members of the Republican party as a better nominee for the GOP than Trump.
The knock on Trump has been the fact that he has no political experience, while the other front runners are both senators.
“I think Rubio has more political experience, and that makes me more confident in electing him versus electing Trump, who obviously has no experience in politics,” said Mangravito.
As of now, we are still a ways away from the general election day, but there is no doubt that to this point the presidential race has been nothing short of entertaining.