The California Primaries Happen Today!

Today, February 5, Democrats, Republicans and Independents will go to the polls to elect their party’s candidate for President. On this day, now dubbed “Super Tuesday” by almost every campaign and news source, 24 states will host contests including California. The Talon takes a closer look at two of the candidates in the contending parties.

The parties’ nominations are won by controlling a majority of delegates attending the national conventions, which candidates receive from each state in which they compete. Each party has two types of delegates. Pledged delegates are awarded based on how well a candidate does in each state; unpledged delegates are members of the national party or other specified groups within the party which are not bound by how a candidate does in their state. To win the Democratic nomination, 2,025 delegates are necessary. 1,191 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination.


Mitt Romney
The former governor of Massachusetts is second in the delegate count nationwide for the GOP. He won the Michigan Primary, Nevada and Wyoming caucuses and placed second in the Florida primary and Iowa caucuses.

According to his competitors, Romney will say whatever is necessary to get elected. When running for the governorship, Romney was pro-choice on the abortion issue, but he has since characterized that position as a mistake. He is now pro-life.

Romney was known for balancing the state budget and elimination a $3 billion budget gap.

Before taking office, Romney was a businessman, who founded Bain Capital, an investment company which worked with companies including Staples and Domino’s Pizza. He became nationally known as the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee which managed the 2002 Utah Winter Olympics, where Romney took charge of erasing a $379 million operating deficit.

John McCain
A Senator from Arizona, John McCain heads into the primaries today as the front runner on the Republican ticket. Having won the Florida, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, the momentum behind McCain’s campaign may propel him ahead of his contenders.

McCain has served two terms in the US House of Representatives and is currently serving his fourth term in the Senate. In 2000, McCain vied for the Republican nomination for president, but lost to current President George W. Bush.

Before serving in the House, McCain had a 22-year career as a naval aviator who served in the Vietnam War. McCain’s prominence is primarily due to his symbolic story as a prisoner of war, where he was often beaten and tortured.

Though he his winning states by only a slight margin, McCain has made a comeback. This past summer, McCain reportedly was flying commercial airlines and at time carrying his own bags because of the lack of funding his campaign had.


Hillary Clinton
As one of the few females to have ever run for president in the United States, Clinton has garnered a significant amount of publicity. Clinton, a former New York Senator, has brought attention to national healthcare and founded an organization that preserves nationally historic items and sites. Her achievements, experience and credentials are exceptional, and there is a good chance she may become the first female president.

Clinton consistently places ahead of all of her Democratic competitors in national polls. As for the Democratic presidential primaries, Clinton’s performance has fluctuated: She placed third in Iowa, first in New Hampshire, first in Nevada and second in South Carolina.

Her positions on the issues include being pro-choice, promoting affordable healthcare, supporting the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and supporting immigration.

Observers and competitors have criticized her for dodging questions and changing her stances.

Barack Obama
The third African-American individual to run for President of the United States, Obama is also at his prime. A first-term junior senator from Illinois, he holds his own with tough affirmative stances on  ending the Iraq war, providing national (although not universal) healthcare and lowering national energy consumption (by 2050, he hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels).

Obama has also been doing well with the younger crowd. He won the Iowa Caucus, placed second in New Hampshire, second in Nevada and won South Carolina.

Obama has a large following because many feel he is an inspiring leader. Time Magazine labeled him as one of “the world’s most influential people” in 2007.

But that is not to say he is without flaw. Obama has been sharply criticized for his lack of experience.

With so many different perspectives on Obama, his battle to win the presidency will certainly be an entertaining one to watch.