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The Lancer Link

Demystifying the Republican primaries

In November, one GOP presidential candidate will take the Republican mantle and run against current President Barack Obama for the seat in the Oval Office. President Obama has time to prepare for the battle for his position, but for the Republican Candidates the fight for the party’s nomination is on already.

The candidates in this year’s Republican primary are Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Their tour has taken them to eight states on their quest for the nomination. The current leader in the GOP primary with 112 total delegates is Mitt Romney. He has won fewer states in the popular votes, however, to Rick Santorum (72 delegates). Gingrich follows, hanging on with 32 delegates. In last place, is Ron Paul who has pulled only 9 delegates and has not won the popular vote in any state.

“Ron Paul’s [main support] is through his anti war beliefs, which is attracting the youth vote,” senior Yujia Pan said. “It’s ironic because he’s the oldest candidate.”

The main thing to remember in understanding the primaries is this: the popular vote does not guarantee that the Republican delegates for that state will vote for that candidate. Some states do require that delegates vote for the popular winners.  In others, the delegates choose at their own discretion. Regardless, teen voters should hit the polls.

“Definitely [young people] should vote,” Pan said. “The youth voters have different goals and unless they get out there, they won’t be represented.”

Mitt Romney has the support of the great majority due to his moral appeal to the U.S. public, but as Republican, the conservative vote is important, and in that respect Santorum may have him beat. Mitt Romney’s greatest support comes from his ideas on jobs and economy. The slogan: “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in,” best sums up Romney’s appeal. His religious identification has also gained him support.

“I personally think all the [religious issues] came out in ’08,” said Pan.

However, his more moderate stances on gay rights, abortion and his similar health care reforms to Obama’s during his stint as Massachusetts’ governor concerns right wing Republicans.

Conservative voters look to Santorum and Gingrich as the protectors of the old right wing policies. Romney’s lack of conservative support prevented him from winning the nomination in 2008. Santorum, the self- proclaimed ‘True Conservative’ is certainly still in the race and is stealing the more conservative votes out from under Romney.

“Republicans don’t trust Romney,” senior Sara Rubenstein said. “As a governor he was much more moderate.”

Santorum’s main struggle will be his lack of name recognition outside of his native Pennsylvania, compared to Romney, who has run for the presidency before. Certainly, Gingrich and Ron Paul are not out with plenty of race left ahead, on the contrary Gingrich could make a surprise resurgence.

“It’s early to say that it’s a race between the leaders,” Rubenstein said. “Gingrich could be back”

It will come down again to the support that both candidates can draw in their weak areas to determine the winner: Santorum winning the Independent voters and Romney the Conservatives.

“Romney has the benefit of experience,” Pan said. “But in the end it’s all about electability.”

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About the Contributor
Shon Cagungun, staff writer
Shon Cagungun is a senior and will be blogging for Lancer Link from his new home in Hawaii.  The staff misses Shon greatly but we are glad he will still get to share his writing with us.

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Demystifying the Republican primaries