Opinion: The primary election and the Republican Party

Jacob Tabler is a junior political science major and a member of the Kent State College Republicans. Contact him at [email protected].

Jacob Tabler Kent State College Republicans

The 2016 presidential election has been interesting, to say the least: Both parties have seen intense races, and that trend will most likely continue as the primary elections draw to a close.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump commands a sizable lead, having won 743 total delegates. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz follows behind with 545 delegates, and Ohio Gov.John Kasich sits behind with 143 delegates. Currently, both Trump and Cruz have a chance of claiming the nomination. While Kasich has no mathematical chance of winning the needed amount of delegates, he still has hopes of coming out of a brokered convention as the nominee.

These three candidates are very different in their political viewpoints. However, they share a similar trait that truly depicts the theme of the election: Each candidate prides themselves in being a political outsider.

Donald Trump, a successful businessman, reminds everyone he has never held public office. Ted Cruz, a first-time senator and Tea Party member, claims to be a more conservative candidate and not part of the Republican mainstream. Finally, Kasich continuously points out he left Washington D.C. and is not part of the establishment of the federal government. This tactic is especially useful in this political climate in which the establishment is seen as the problem.

It is also important to recognize the significance of nominating any of these three candidates: Whoever is selected as the nominee will define the direction the party. If Trump is the nominee, the people will have chosen to side against career-politicians who they view as part of the problem. If the party selects Cruz, they will head into a more fiscal and social conservative direction and further to the right than the establishment is now. Finally, if Kasich is nominated the party will head in a more moderate direction that values experience and compromise across the aisle.

One final thing to address is the issue of superdelegates and the role they could play in future primaries: Though they do not play a part in the Republican Party at this time, the question has been raised as to whether or not they will be involved in future primary elections. This may prevent an unfavorable candidate from claiming the nomination. However, this would also diminish the people’s ability to choose the nominee they prefer.

Regardless of who is the nominee of the Republican Party, the party will head in a different direction. The point of a primary election is for the people to choose a candidate that best represents them. They entrust this candidate to take them in a direction that best aligns with their values. The question now is, which candidate?

The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Kent State College Republicans as an organization.