Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump came out on top in the presidential primaries on Tuesday, March 15.
Clinton has now racked up a total of 1,139 delegates, with Trump coming in at 673. The Republican nominee will need to secure a total of 1,237 votes to win the nomination, while the Democratic nominee needs 2,383 to win.
Honorable mentions for the unofficial “Super Tuesday” go out to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who now stands at 825 delegates, and Republican nominee Ted Cruz, coming in at 410.
Tuesday brought an end to Marco Rubio’s campaign when he lost in his home state, Florida, and decided to suspend his campaign. Republican nominee John Kasich remains in the primary race with 143 delegates.
With Pennsylvania’s primaries looming closer and closer, students are starting to get more invested in the elections and the candidates.
A handful of West Chester University students were interviewed to get a better feel about how the primary elections and caucuses are affecting the millennial generation.
When asked how she would describe her overall impression of the primary elections thus far, sophomore Sam Postupack said it was “a whole bunch of hullabaloo.”
“It’s way too much craziness; people are nuts,” said Postupack.
Sophomore Apeayena Agbugui thinks the primaries have been “very interesting.”
“I think each candidate is interesting in their own individual way—some more than others,” said Agbugui. “I feel like there’s been a lot of attention driven to people who don’t deserve attention, really.”
With Clinton and Trump taking the leads in their respective parties, students were asked for their opinions specifically on those two candidates. A number of ideas amongst students overlapped.
Many students believe a mjaority of Clinton’s sucess come from the strong focus on her gender.
“I think people kind of focus on how she would be the first female president, and I don’t think diversity is the problem right now,” said sophomore Zahaeaa Davood. “We need somebody who can lead the country; she’s very corporate.”
“I’m all for a woman to be in the White House,” said Agbugui, “but when it comes down to a candidate who can cater to my needs, I don’t feel like Hillary really does that. She’s more big business-oriented.”
Many students did not seen Clinton as the most favorable option for the presidency. Although nobody interviewed strongly supported Clinton, it was a general consensus that she “wouldn’t be the worst president out of the potential candidates.”
Many common themes arose when students were asked for their opinion on Trump—specifically that he has a big mouth, which could potentially be very problematic for international relations.
“Trump is a bigot and an ***hole. And I don’t think that’s an opinion, it’s more of a fact,” said sophmore Damien Yasipour. “I don’t think he’d be good fit for our country or international relationships. People like him in power have caused a lot of issues in the world historically.”
Postupack had similar thoughts.
“I think he’s way too caught up on his ego,” said Postupack. “I don’t think he’s focusing enough on important matters.”
According to Agbugui, “he’s openly racist, and he’s only going to benefit the wealthy.”
On the flip side, there were a couple people who endorsed Trump. Sophomore Morgan Newton described him as a “loose cannon,” but said after doing more research, he is who she would currently vote for.
Likewise, Stahlbeher said, “I feel like he has good ideas that people lose sight of in his stranger opinions. Also, Ted Cruz is a wing nut.”
Moving beyond the frontrunners, Sanders came up quite frequently amongst the interviewees.
When asked who she would currently vote for, Davood replied, “Feel the Bern. I think he’s one of the few candidates who has core values he hasn’t changed over the years; he’s been a civil rights activist and fought for women’s rights, and he’s not wishy-washy. He hasn’t changed his ways and he doesn’t change to get votes.”
Yasipour had similar opinions when asked who he would vote for.
“Bernie, because he seems like the candidate actually looking out for the people and not just for an agenda,” said Yasipour.
“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders because I feel like he is the candidate I can most relate to, and he’s most for the people; not for the wealthy people, but the working class,” said Agbugui.
Newton described the election process as “a false sense of choice.”
“It’s kind of discouraging to feel as if my vote has no effect due to both the process by which delegates make votes and the lateness of PA’s part in the process,” said Yasipour.
According to Yasipour, he also believes that, “overall, this is a weak candidate pool and it worries me about this country.”
Postupack had similar ideas.
“I feel like when it comes to voting, I don’t know if I could choose the lesser of two evils,” said Postupack.
Lauren Detweiler is a second-year student majoring in English. They can be reached at LD838069@wcupa.edu