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Commentary: Voting day should spark students to vote on future

Courtesy of MCT

All eyes are on Ohio. Perhaps this Tuesday will mark one of the biggest Republican primaries to go down in history, and Ohio is playing a key role in its results.

This Tuesday, known as Super Tuesday, 10 states will participate in choosing between the four front-runner Republican candidates: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.

That being said, I encourage students to vote. This is a time in our nation’s history in which voters need to show they care by turning out at the polls. I understand that a lot of voters’ logic is that they don’t know enough to vote. So educate yourselves. Take an extra 10 minutes out of your day and figure out what each candidate stands for and why they are running.

Santorum served as a Pennsylvania representative for four years until he became a U.S. senator from 1995 until 2007. Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. He was formerly a CEO and businessman at Bain & Co., a management consulting business. Paul has been the U.S. representative for Texas’s 14th Congressional District since 1997. He ran for president in 1988 as a Libertarian and in 2008 as a Republican. Gingrich represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. He also served as the 58th Speaker of the House.

Soon enough, a large chunk of our paychecks will be dedicated to Social Security. An even larger chunk of our paychecks will be taken out for taxes. We will need health care in order to keep ourselves and our future families healthy. These issues are pertinent. They affect us. So not only should we be paying close attention, if not scrutinizing these candidates, but we should voice our opinions about what we want. Our vote matters because we are the future.

Oklahoma, Ohio, North Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Alaska and Virginia will all vote Tuesday. Santorum surged in Ohio last week, but recently Romney has caught up, with a race that is “too close to call,” according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Friday.

No one can accurately predict a winner in this Republican primary because the numbers are changing constantly and they remain around the 30 to 40 percent area, so not one candidate has a majority of the vote. According to experts, so few voters have turned out in previous caucuses and primaries that it’s hard to even predict the percentage numbers. It will be interesting to see how many Ohio voters will show up on Tuesday to vote, being that we are traditionally a swing state.

After talking to one OSU professor about the possible results, he brought up that it’s possible not one candidate would win and that it would come down to the actual 2012 Republican Convention, which in this case would be called a brokered convention. Every single state is given a number of delegates and those are split according to how the state votes. If one candidate does not have a pre-existing majority coming into the convention, then they will vote at the convention.

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Republicans should not fear a brokered convention. But isn’t that the theme of this Republican primary? That nobody really likes any of the candidates enough to vote for them, hence the low voter turnout and the poll-approval rates that are hitting right around 30 percent? So wouldn’t a brokered convention be desired by most Republican voters?

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