Iowa goes to caucus



On Feb. 1, Iowa voters officially kick off the election season with their caucus a week before New Hampshire has its primary on Feb. 9. 

Bing election blog predicts Donald Trump winning Iowa on the Republican side with nearly 40 percent of the vote and Hilary Clinton winning the Democratic primary with around 50 percent. This is close to the prediction of the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll with Trump leading in the Republican field and Clinton having a slim (3 percent) lead over Sanders. The political analysts say the the turn out to the caucus is important and the weather is not cooperating. According to AccuWeather there might be blizzard condition by 7 p.m. when the caucus starts.

While Trump may be the leader in the polls not everyone believes that it will translate to votes. Chris Cooper, the head of the department of Political Science at WCU is one of those people.

“Donald Trump is the leader in the polls but I am still not convinced that he is the true frontrunner,” said Cooper. “A lot of Trump supporters do not have a history of voting so I believe he will have to translate poll numbers and crowd sizes to votes and that is hard. He has not had as long standing ground game in Iowa and that could be a problem.”

While it is possible to believe that Trump’s poll numbers will not turn into votes there is no arguing that he is dominating the polls. Trump does not shy away from speaking his mind and that has not hurt his poll numbers.

Christopher Cooper is Associate Professor of Political Science at Western Carolina University.

Christopher Cooper is Associate Professor of Political Science at Western Carolina University.

“Trump has an amazing ability to drive media coverage,” explains Cooper. “There are like 14 people running and 40 percent of the coverage is going to one guy. He knows how to do it.”

According to a national poll by the Huffington Post Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are on the rise in Iowa. Cruz is currently second with 16 percent and Rubio third with 10 percent.

WCU College Republican Chairman, Isaac Herrin believes that Cruz has a chance to beat Trump.  

“Ted Cruz has the best chance of beating Trump but with that being said I don’t think that he is going to win in the end. I think Marco Rubio has the best chance out of any of the Republicans to become President but I don’t think he is going to be able to get the nomination,” explains Herrin.

On the Democratic side it has come down to a two person race and it is between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. While Hilary Clinton appears to definitely be the front runner she does not have as much support from the younger generation as Sanders does.

“Bernie Sanders draws so much attention from millennials because he appears as someone who is anti-establishment. Also he takes positions that are more liberal than others which some may find appealing,” WCU professor of Political Science, Todd Collins, explain. 

According to the Washington Post Sanders is outperforming Clinton when it comes to getting the attention of young voters. This may not be enough however as Clinton is polling atop Sanders in most of the early states. The polls say she is leading in Iowa and South Carolina and dominating in Nevada with an astounding 91 percent. 

While it is still early and much could change between now and November now is looking as if Clinton and Trump are going to be the nominees. There will be even more clarification once the first couple of states finish voting and we get an even better idea of who the two nominees will be. Who ever ends to get the presidency hopefully would be able to overcome the Washington state of politics.

“A huge problem is the dysfunction in Washington,” said Cooper. “We need a president who can still get things done.”

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