Super Tuesday

Erica Arvizu

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California, along with 23 other states, held primary elections or caucuses on Feb. 5 in the biggest “Super Tuesday” to date.

California yielded the majority of its votes and delegates to Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain. The tally as of Feb. 6 showed that McCain received the bulk of the states and delegates, approximately 720. After Tuesday’s results, McCain is the clear leader for the nomination at the Republican Party National Convention on Sep. 1.

“I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination of president of the United States,” McCain said at his victory speech Tuesday night. “And I really don’t mind it one bit.”

The race did not have such a clear leader for the Democratic Party. While Clinton took the majority of delegates in high-impact states like California and New York, Sen. Barack Obama won the most states. So far, the race is neck-and-neck with Clinton’s total delegate tally this year at 834 and Obama with 838.

Along with the primary elections, Californians voted on seven ballot initiatives on Tuesday. Proposition 92 was one of them. This would have lowered California’s Community College tuition to $15 per unit and separated them from the K-12 budget system that they are currently lumped into. It did not pass, receiving only 43.1% of the vote. Props 91 and 93 also failed, but the heavily advertised Indian gaming propositions, 94 through 97, passed.

Students on the Mesa campus seemed to be more excited about Super Bowl Sunday and “Fat Tuesday” than they did about this year’s primaries.

“Super Tuesday?” said Mesa student Jennifer Oh. “You mean Fat Tuesday?”

Many students that did take the time to vote could have used some information about the seven propositions they voted on, prior to entering the polling stations. The Associated Student Government planned on having a “Voter Education Day” at the beginning of this semester, but said that the idea never got off the ground. And with the confusing political jargon that the propositions are written in, students could have used a little help.

“I was really bummed out about that,” Mesa student Nick Feenberg said. “I wanted to vote yes, but I wasn’t sure.”

On a whole, a large number of college-aged voters participated in this years primaries. Exit polls show that of the Democratic voters that cast ballots on Tuesday, more than one in 10 were under the age of 30.

This surge in young voters could be due to the fact that the Monday before Super Tuesday, candidates sent out automated political calls, or “Robo-Calls,” to thousands of eligible voters.
The Robo-Calls for Obama appeared to be aimed at the 18-24 year-old demographic of voters, with calls from celebrities like actress Scarlett Johansson, rapper Common and comedian Chris Rock, “urging” voters to cast their ballots for Obama.

“I got calls from Scarlett Johansson and Common urging me to vote for Barack Obama,” said Mesa student Meaghan Clark. “I thought it was an interesting way to get young votes. It definitely reminded me as well. It’s a good way to get a hold of college-aged students.”

It may have proved to be a good source indeed. According to exit polls, Obama won 56 percent of young voters nationwide.
After the remainder of the state primaries are completed in June; it will be clearer what the Nov. 4 general election ballot will look like. The registration deadline to vote in the November general election is Oct. 20. You can register to vote on campus at the student affairs office in H500, online at the California Secretary of State website at www.sos.ca.gov or at any public library or post office.

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