Students Weigh in on Presidential Primaries

Charlotte Martin, Staff Writer

The 2020 election season began with 20 democratic candidates, but as we near June 6th, the end of the democratic primary elections, only one candidate remains: Joe Biden.

Until recently, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were the two main candidates vying for the nomination. They had won considerably more delegates than any of their competitors. Then, to the dismay of many, Sanders made the decision to suspend his campaign. Once a clear frontrunner, Sanders began to lose his lead after Biden’s resounding victory in many states on Super Tuesday this past March. Many other moderate candidates, like Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, dropped out of the race, which likely helped Biden to win more delegates as the moderate democrats who were planning on voting for these candidates likely cast their vote for Biden.

As high school students, many of us are just becoming old enough to vote and develop political opinions independent of our parent’s beliefs. Many people in school feel too busy to pay close attention to the race, while other students are paying very close attention, despite the fact that they will not be old enough to vote in the primary election.

These students follow the election in different ways including watching the debates, listening to podcasts, and reading about the candidates’ proposed policies. Some students have already decided on a favorite candidate, while others are still researching.

Senior Jack Corkum, who has been closely following the election and feels that Donald Trump is his current favorite candidate, says that he does not vote solely based on party affiliation, but based on alignment with his own beliefs. He also feels that a candidate should have a genuine “love for America” to become a leader for our country.

Some students who have already decided that they will not be voting for Trump in the upcoming primary election say they are looking out for electability, alignment with their own political views, or both.

Junior Henry Geller says that he is focusing more on alignment with his views because choosing a candidate solely based on electability is “creating an environment where both the Democratic and Republican parties are becoming farther away from each other.”

Luke Rollfinke, whose favorite candidate is Bernie Sanders, says he is “100% looking for alignment with [his] political views rather than electability” and that he fears that some of “Biden’s supporters like him because he is associated with Obama or because he is the most electable.”

Many students want a leader who unites the country instead of causing even more division between the two parties, as a divisive leader ultimately leads to a gridlocked Senate, where nothing productive happens.

Junior Fiona McManus says, “We need to elect someone not as a reaction to the current administration, but as a solution to the corruption in our government.”

Friends students who are following the election are doing so closely and forming educated opinions about the race. While Friends is a very liberal school, many students are very moderate and are just hoping for a government that can make change and work together instead of the Democratic and Republican parties polarizing one another.