On Feb. 5 people flocked to the polls for the California presidential primary election. An early California primary and a diverse pool of potential presidential candidates were among the reasons this year’s state primary received much more attention than those of previous election cycles.
Among 18-25-year-old voters, last week’s primary saw a dramatic increase in turnout: 43 percent, compared with 18 percent in 2004, according to the California Progress Report.
“I think that young people need to vote,” Jennifer Crabbe, a junior movement and sports science major said.
“It’s our future and we need to have a say.”
“It’s important for young people to vote so other people don’t dictate their future,” Kelly Ince, a junior liberal studies major said.
Many believe that the increased youth turnout rate is due to a genuine concern for the country, while others feel that it is a result of political awareness on school campuses and some believe it is just an attempt to be a part of history if Obama or Clinton are victorious.
“Race and gender have played a huge role in this election,” Ince said. “So many people are voting just because there is a woman and an African American running.”
Although race and gender seem to be important to many people, other issues have sparked some concern as well. Several students on the University of La Verne campus have expressed their concerns on the war in Iraq, health care, the economy, college affordability, global warming and immigration.
“I don’t think race or gender have affected the way people vote. I see everyone as equal and we should vote that way,” Richard Johnson, a junior business administration major said.
“Immigration is important because it is so hard to become a legal citizen in the U.S.,” Johnson said.
Ince and Melissa Carlson, a junior movement and sports science major agreed that they are most concerned about the economy and the need to vote.
The Democrats dominated the California primaries with Hillary Clinton paving the way with 2,271,902 votes and Barack Obama not too far behind with 1,864,326 votes. John McCain headed the republican candidates with 1,073,056 votes followed closely by Mitt Romney with 876,108 votes and Mike Huckabee trailing behind with 293,759 votes.
Things seem to remain fairly consistent throughout the primaries with no real surprises and the November election is sure to follow a similar pattern.
The University of La Verne community seems to agree that a democratic candidate will be next in line to lead our country. Almost everyone agreed that a change is long overdue. Some expressed that they want a Democrat to win for the pure fact that they disapprove of President George W. Bush while others are anxious to see what a more diverse president would have to offer the United States.
“People want to see a change instead of the typical old white male president,” Crabbe said.
The general election will be held Nov. 4, so go out there and make a difference.
Madison Steff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.