Millions of Americans will gather around their televisions Sunday night to watch what is arguably the greatest spectacle of American culture – the Super Bowl. However, Monday night, I was glued to the TV watching a spectacle that I consider to be better than any game or reality television show – the Iowa caucuses. Democratic and Republican candidates duked it out to win delegates for their respective party’s national convention, where the nominees for the election in November will be decided. There were punches landed, tantrums thrown and an absurd amount of speculation about who would emerge as champion of the evening.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz triumphed over the nefarious Donald Trump, receiving 27.6 percent of Republican votes while Trump received 24.3 percent, with Marco Rubio et al parading behind. Hillary Clinton barely edged out Bernie Sanders, winning 49.9 percent of the vote while Sanders surprised the nation in receiving 49.6 percent. Martin O’Malley, the other Democratic candidate, officially suspended his campaign after votes were tallied.
Energized by the drama from the night, I took to the sidewalks of campus to ask a tricky question: If you had to vote for a candidate who belongs to the party opposite to the one you identify with, who would it be and why? According to a national study done by Pew Research, 42 percent of millennials identify as either consistently or mostly liberal, while 44 percent consider themselves mixed. Only 15 percent consider themselves mostly or consistently conservative.
“John Kasich. The New York Times endorsed him, and he seems the least crazy. I might hate him less.”
– Amy Linehan, third-year mathematics and economics student
“Donald Trump. I think he’s unelectable but very popular because he’s able to fuel the latent xenophobia and intolerance in this country. In a general election, he can’t win. I would vote for Trump to throw more support behind the Democrats”
– Jay Manzano, first-year political science student
“John Kasich. He’s the most moderate GOP candidate. His numbers in Iowa weren’t very good though, so he’s going to have to separate himself from the rest in New Hampshire since the establishments going to move towards Rubio.”
– Matt Dunham, first-year statistics student
“Jeb Bush. I feel so, so bad for him. He’s kind of the most normal (candidate).”
– Amy Iwasaki, second-year geography student
“Marco Rubio. I want to say Donald Trump because I know the Democratic Party could totally beat him. He’s ostracized too many people to be a viable candidate. Maybe Marco Rubio. I have little to no research on him, but I feel like he’ll focus on states’ issues. I like that he’s pushing the vocational careers. The four year college thing isn’t for everyone. Plus, he’s not white.”
– Mohammed Hussein, third-year aerospace engineering student
Republican-leaning and independent
“Hillary Clinton. She’s farther to the left than I’d like, but I’m concerned for the implications for our nation if Bernie Sanders, a registered socialist, gets (the nomination). Based on the ways that other countries have transformed under socialism, I’m worried he’ll erode classic American values and disincentivize people from working hard.”
– Owen Hemminger, first-year mechanical engineering student
“(For the Republican side,) Carly Fiorina. She seems like she knows what she’s talking about and doesn’t shake things up like Trump. Both my parents are going to vote for Trump. Like, we have signs in our yard. It’s horrible.
“(From the Democrat side,) Bernie Sanders. (I like his) domestic policy. I did a iSidewith quiz and apparently we have similar views.”
– Cheryl Sullivan, third-year linguistics student, independent