Election update: primaries, caucuses and debates

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By Aaaron Rhodes

Staff reporter

arhodes2@jccc.edu

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Voters choose their candidates at a Blue Valley Northwest caucus site. Photo by Aaron Rhodes.

Caucuses, Primaries and Delegates

This past weekend was a big one for presidential politics in Kansas. Both Democrats and Republicans went to the polls to caucus on Saturday to determine their parties’ nominees.

According to the Associated Press, Ted Cruz won the Kansas Republican caucus with 48.2 percent of the vote and collected 24 delegates. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic caucus with 67.7 percent of the vote and collected 23 delegates.

Democrat Hillary Clinton earned 32.3 percent of the vote and 10 delegates. Runners-up on the Republican side included Donald Trump (23.3 percent of vote, nine delegates), Marco Rubio (16.7 percent of vote, six delegates) and John Kasich (10.7 percent of vote, one delegate).

Delegates are party representatives who will be voting on the presidential nominations at their respective conventions this July. While they are supposed to vote for the candidate their constituents choose, many are not required to and can vote for whomever they wish.

Despite their Kansas losses, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are still both the frontrunners in their parties delegate-wise. According to research done by American University, the winner of the Kansas Democratic caucus (and formerly primary before the state switched) has gone on to win the party’s nomination since 1968. Kansas Republicans have only predicted their party’s nominee 57.14 percent of the time.

Primaries and caucuses continue until June, followed by party conventions in July.

Debates

Last night Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off in another debate. This debate was the seventh Democratic debate this election cycle and the third since Sanders and Clinton became the final two Democrats in the running.

The debate was held in Flint, Michigan, the home of an ongoing water crisis. Residents of the town were poisoned by toxic lead in their water supply while government officials were aware but failed to tell the population.

The candidates spoke about the water crisis for approximately 20 minutes of the debate, both demanding that the governor of Michigan resign over the issue. After agreeing on that subject, Clinton and Sanders faced off on the subjects of gun control, Wall Street and other issues. Racial inequality was also mentioned multiple times.

The most recent Republican debate was on March 3 in Detroit, Michigan. This debate was the first one since Ben Carson ended his campaign, leaving Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich as the final four candidates.

Topics discussed in the debate included unemployment, conflict in the Middle East, the Supreme Court vacancy, the Flint water crisis, gun control and a highly publicized personal exchange between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

The next Democratic debate is on March 9 in Miami, Florida. The next Republican debate is on March 10, also in Miami, Florida.

Catch up on The Campus Ledger’s election coverage so far at the links below:

Marco Rubio ends last-minute Kansas campaign in Overland Park

Donald Trump is not right for the United States

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz speaks at Yardley Hall

Bernie Sanders sticks to message while criticizing Kansas government

 

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