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The race for the White House is here

posted Apr 3, 2016, 1:45 PM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Korey Alder, Photography Editor

Posted February 29th, 2016

The past six months or so have been exceedingly eventful in the world of politics, as the presidential candidates fight for the nomination. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have shocked many in their quick rise to political fame, leaving other “mainstream” candidates far behind. They still have a long way to go, however, and the race is on for the ten or so potentials.

The moment these men and women have worked hard for is finally arriving, as the primaries begin around the country. The first three states to start counting are Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina; candidates must do reasonably well in these locations to justify continuing their campaign. Iowa is the first of these elections, and is held in the form of a caucus. A sort of representative election, the people of Iowa vote on delegates, who in turn vote on delegates, who vote on the various candidates. In the past forty years, the Iowa caucus has had around a 50% accuracy rate when it comes to predicting the final nominee, but the main reason for its importance is the level of attention it receives from the media.

Voting for the caucus occurred on February 1st, and the results were certainly interesting. Texas Senator Ted Cruz won the Republican race with 51,600 votes (8 delegate votes), while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the Democratic race with 27 delegates and 50% of the vote. Note, however, that the Democratic process for selecting a winner is more complicated, with participating voters have a chance to convince their fellow citizens to change their minds. Close seconds on their respective sides were Trump with 45,400 votes (7 delegates) and Sanders with 21 delegates.

The New Hampshire primaries, held February 9th, perhaps describe a more telling tale of east-coast voters on both sides. Trump handedly won on the Republican side, with 35% of the total votes and just over 100,000 total. That’s 55,000 more than the second-place winner, Ohio Governor John Kasich, who won 16% of the total vote. Roughly tied for third were Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. More surprising were the Democratic results, in which Bernie Sanders took 60% of the vote, also winning around 55,000 more votes than second-place Hillary Clinton. Approximately 1% of the Democratic votes went to all the other candidates combined in the form of write-ins, and that narrowed down the Democratic field to Clinton and Sanders.

South Carolina and Nevada were the most recent primaries and the results on the Republican side were nearly the same in both locations. Trump came in first in both states, followed by a near tie between Rubio and Cruz. As of the Nevada Primary, Trump, Rubio, Cruz, Carson, and Kasich are the only Republican nominees remaining. In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton won both primaries, 73% to Sanders’ 26% in South Carolina,but only by 5% in Nevada.

With the volatile nature of the current political landscape, it will be intriguing to see who eventually comes out on top for the two major parties.