Democratic Primary overview

Aditya Kaushika, Contributer

Even though the presidential election is more than a year away, the American public has started to choose their favorite candidates in both parties. On the left, the two frontrunners as of  now are the well known Hillary Clinton, and the not so well known Bernie Sanders. Other candidates include Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. Vice-President Joe Biden has not committed to running yet, but it is assumed that he will be announcing his candidacy shortly.

The Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. These delegates in turn directly elect the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. However, depending on each state’s laws and party rules, when voters cast ballots for a candidate, they may be voting to actually award delegates bound to vote for a particular candidate at the state or national convention, or they may simply be expressing an opinion that the state party is not bound to follow in selecting delegates to the national convention.

Supporters of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer as he addresses the crowd during his campaign event in Los Angeles on Aug. 10.
Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS
Supporters of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer as he addresses the crowd during his campaign event in Los Angeles on Aug. 10.

When analyzing each candidate’s position on various issues, Hillary Clinton seems to be the most right-wing democrat on the ticket. Hillary voted for the Iraq war, and just recently came out supporting marriage equality. She also supports refinancing student loans, and making college debt more affordable. Hillary currently leads the poll by a slight margin, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is climbing in the polls with historical speed.The reason many people are “Feeling the Bern” is because Bernie Sanders is different from the other candidates. Hillary Clinton is a hardline Democrat, who has been in the political spectrum for over 20 years now. Bernie Sanders, while also in politics, has been working behind the scenes in the Senate as an independent socialist. He is the longest serving independent party member in the history of the United States and has possibly the best political record of any politician ever. Bernie Sanders marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr and voted for-Marriage equality, the Freedom Act, the Bring Jobs Home Act, the minimum wage increase, and more funding for medical programs. Bernie Sanders has also refused to take money from super pacs, and refuses to run negative ads against Hillary Clinton. What this has translated into is a clean campaign based on facts and real positions on important issues. Generation Y students, or students our age, are consistently endorsing Bernie Sanders because he has promised to make public colleges free and raise the minimum wage to $15.00.

The Democratic National Committee has not endorsed a candidate yet and likely will not support one until after the primary election. If you’re interested in the candidate selection process, getting involved in a political organization inside or outside of school can be a great way to learn more about the course of selection. Remember, if you are a junior or a senior, you will likely be able to vote in the next presidential election and will be able to make a difference in our government. Never forget that the people are the ones who make up the government!