Students gear up for election season

Iowa Caucus results kickstart campaign fever at McLean


Ava Rotondo

All eligible AP Government students were given the opportunity to register to vote on Wednesday. The Virginia primary elections will take place on March 3.

Three days after the Iowa Caucus results were supposed to be announced, and The Associated Press has yet to declare an official winner. According to USA Today, Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are nearly tied, standing at 26.2 and 26.1 percent of the state-wide vote respectively. They are projected to receive roughly the same number of delegates.

Young Democrats club member junior Sophia Powell commented on the current results.

“I think Biden was a major loser, considering he’s in fourth place so far, which was way worse than he or anyone expected,” Powell said. “It was a major win for Pete who a year ago was an internet meme.

Registered voters showed up at nearly 1700 precinct sites to caucus for their favorite candidates on Monday at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time. While in the past, results have been announced within a couple of hours of the caucus, it took the Iowa Democratic Party over a day to begin releasing them. According to NBC, a new App that experienced technical difficulties and verification procedures slowed down the process.

During the event, voters organize themselves in groups at each precinct based on their preferred candidates. If after an initial round of grouping a candidate fails to garner 15 percent of the precinct’s voters, the people who caucused for that candidate rearrange themselves, either selecting a new candidate or remaining undecided. It is after this second round of caucusing that delegates are distributed to each candidate based on the percentage of votes they receive in their respective precincts.

On Monday afternoon, Young Democrats held a club meeting to review the caucuses.

”We went over all the candidates, listed them and looked at their poll numbers,” Powell said. “Then we went over an overview of how the caucuses work because a lot of people didn’t understand as they are run very differently than normal elections.”

Even before results from Iowa were released, candidates shifted gears to focus their efforts on the New Hampshire primaries, which are scheduled to take place on Monday, Feb. 10. Virginia along with 15 other states and Territories, including Democrats Abroad, will hold their primaries on March 3 as part of the first Super Tuesday event of the election season. A large number of McLean students will be voting in these elections.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how different people from across the country react to some of these candidates. There are so many of them, so that kind of polarizes the field for the democrats,” Powell said. “The democratic electorate is a diverse bunch of people with varying interests, and I think when you have that, it’s a little bit of a disaster.”

Despite the unprecedentedly large field of presidential hopefuls still campaigning, Powell is pessimistic that any of the candidates she could cast her ballot for in March will beat President Trump.

“Personally, I really like Warren. I think she’s the smartest on any stage she’s on. But I don’t know if some of her plans are necessarily feasible, nor do I think she can peel away voters from Trump,” Powell said. “I want to vote for someone who I think can beat Trump. I don’t think there’s anybody who can do it, so I think we’re stuck for four more years.”

If you are eligible to vote for the 2020 General Election, use the link below to find information regarding voter registration and the March 3 primary elections. Also, refer to article below to read more about the Iowa Caucus Snafu.

Iowa Caucus ends in chaos