New York Primary Recap

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Photo by Jeff Sitterly

Ben Mehic, Staff Writer

Presidential candidates, like the ones who took home the New York Presidential Primary victories on Tuesday, are not comedians. However, that did not stop numerous students from describing the entire process as a joke.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively, won the New York Primary, but the youth was not too enthused about the results. Kenan Nadarevic, a sophomore and noted Senator Bernie Sanders supporter, is not particularly excited about the candidates that will likely compete for the chance to lead what many consider the “free world.”

“It’s a joke. I’m very disappointed. I don’t know how people can agree with Donald Trump’s ideas. He cannot back any of his ideas. It almost feels like we’ve become very uneducated and not willing to learn more about a candidate, and the ideas behind it. The media has shaped it all,” Nadarevic said. “The candidates are just complete opposites. The amount of support that he has is crazy. It doesn’t look good for the future. They see something different – something new – and his business success. But, he has no experience in government and politics.”

Joe Hunter, a junior from Pennsylvania, didn’t vote in the recent primary because he did not get an absentee ballot, but he did echo the same thoughts as Nadarevic’s.

“I think it’s a complete joke, to be honest,” Hunter said. “It’s more bickering back and forth between candidates rather than trying to benefit the overall country. I just want anybody but Trump.”

Sanders, a 74-year-old self-proclaimed democratic socialist, has gained much of his support from the millennial group. Despite the increasing number of supporters that Sanders has received from the youth, he failed to win the New York Primary, which could dictate the result of the democratic race. Given the state of the country, the millennial vote has become even more important than it typically is.

“18 to 25-year-olds vote in the smallest numbers compared to the other major age categories. This is a real problem for young adults, because, young adults say ‘everyone in government is old,” Luke Perry, Associate Professor of Government and Politics said. “They can’t relate to me.’ And then I talk to members of government and they come visit my class, and they tell my privately ‘I do this because I think it’s important, but I know these people don’t vote’”

The Sanders campaign has elicited a lot of excitement amongst college-aged kids and Nadarevic noticed an increased turnout amongst his friends.

“A lot of my friends went to vote – I saw on Twitter, Facebook, and everything. That was quite a surprise. It’s about time that stuff is going to happen. I feel like Bernie [Sanders] is the one that our youth has connected with – his ideas interest us,” he said. “We’re more engaged than the previous election. I like all of his ideas. The free education and his interest in developing work ethics is important.”

Hunter, though, did not notice the same trend amongst his friends. He does recognize the importance of the student vote, despite the lack of participation from people that he knows.

“It’s extremely important to have people our age vote,” Hunter said. “I’d say if it’s not the most important group of people, it’s certainly one of the most because there’s so many people that are young and think voting is dumb, so they’re not going to do it. Every vote counts, in my opinion.”

“Young people are criticizing the politicians and the politicians are saying, ‘well if it’s important to you, get out and vote.’ Until that changes, I unfortunately, think the concerns of young adults will be marginalized,” Professor Perry said.

Much to the chagrin of many Utica College students, Senator Sanders did not secure a victory that might have altered the course of the entire Presidential race. Clinton and Trump are the projected candidates and the New York Primary could prove to be the pivotal victory, even if it wasn’t the outcome many wanted.

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