The 2020 presidential primary election is rapidly approaching with five candidates still attempting to win over the hearts of Americans. Kent State students voiced their opinion on who is the best fit for president in a survey conducted by The Kent Stater.
362 people were surveyed both in-person and online about which presidential candidate they support and why. This took place Feb. 23 through March 4 by randomly selecting students in the library, Student Center, and Eastway to get a diverse sample.
Warren is a Massachusetts senator. Kent State students who support her admire her performance at the Democratic debates, according to The Kent Stater survey. During these debates, she advocated for canceling student loan debt, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. To pay for this, her plan was to raise taxes for those with a net income of more than $50 million. Healthcare and education are important issues to Warren supporters on campus. She dropped out of the race after the survey was conducted.
#2 Donald Trump
Trump is the current President and the main Republican candidate. His main policies involve immigration and strengthening the economy. His goal is to decrease illegal immigration to the United States with the wall and improve the economy through deregulation and lower taxes. Kent State students who support him see the booming economy as his greatest appeal, according to The Kent Stater survey. Issues that are important to Trump supporters on campus include creating and keeping jobs in the United States and supporting small businesses.
Sanders is a Vermont senator. Similar to Warren, he stands for progressive programs such as Medicare for All, raising the federal minimum wage to $15, free public college and student loan forgiveness. Sanders supporters at Kent State see affordable healthcare, education, and civil rights as important issues.
Sanders’ platform is especially appealing to young people, President of Kent State for Bernie Adam Schroeder said.
“I think he speaks to the issues that we care about, especially with our generation,” Schroeder said. “The impending climate crisis is a big deal to us, and he’s offered the most progressive, boldest plan for climate change and the Green New Deal.”
He is confident Bernie will win the Democratic nomination because only his supporters fund his campaign as opposed to corporate donors.
“Bernie has a movement of people behind him,” Schroeder said. “Joe Biden is going to have organized money, but we have organized people.”
Yet, not all candidates had the strong support that Bernie Sanders received.
Since the beginning of this survey, five candidates have dropped out: Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren.
The remaining Democratic candidates are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Tulsi Gabbard. The Republicans that are running are Donald Trump and Bill Weld.
A slim majority of students support any candidate for this election. The number of students that expressed disinterest in the election or have not conducted any research yet is 160 out of 362 or 44 percent.
Students don’t follow politics because of busy lives, fake news and a lack of faith in government and politicians, political science associate professor Gabriella Paar-Jakli said.
This inattentiveness is a problem for the future of American democracy, Paar-Jakli said.
“By the time you realize the institutions are undermined, it might be too late and that’s a hard lesson to learn,” Paar-Jakli said.
She knows firsthand what it is like to live under a non-democratic regime because she was born in Hungary when it was under Soviet control.
“Americans really don’t have a taste of what it feels like when there’s no way to contribute and no way to participate because the institutions are not there,” Paar-Jakli said. “Unless they have a taste of that, it’s never going to be the same.”
Kent State students have until the Ohio primary on March 17 to determine who is best suited to lead each party into the presidency in order to preserve American democracy.
Madisyn Woodring covers politics. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.