Opinion: CPAC makes its mark


Jennifer Hutchinson is a freshman political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Hutchinson

It’s CPAC season! The Conservative Political Action Conference of 2014 took place over the weekend. The Kent State College Republicans, including myself, attended the event.

An array of speakers were present at the convention, including some familiar names such as Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, as well as many others.

There was a lot to take away from this year’s CPAC. We saw some potential presidential nominees remaining strong, others losing support and some newcomers coming in hot. As far as those remaining strong, Rand Paul is leading the front. He won in the straw poll, with a 31 percent vote — which is a lot more than I can say for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

While Chris Christie has been, and still is, a favorite of mine, he is not as popular as I would have hoped. Last year, Christie wasn’t even invited to CPAC. While his speech excited this year’s audience, it wasn’t enough to make him a close contender in the straw poll. He came in fourth place with a 9 percent vote.

Newcomer Ben Carson made quite an impression, though. He beat out Christie, coming in third place with an 11 percent vote. What’s even more remarkable is that he’s never held any form of executive office.

Whatever the outcomes may be, one thing is for sure — Republicans are gearing up for a win in 2016, and they’re getting back to the Constitution to do so. This was my first time at CPAC, and I can say that it only further sparked my motivation to seek a stronger, but limited government, that’s working in the best interest of the American people.

There are great ideas and policies being presented as ways to make this a reality. Republicans are on the money. However, the party is going to have to do a little more to make those ideas and solutions better known to the public, especially young voters. It was also encouraging to see so many young people at the event.

In fact, the majority of the straw poll votes were from attendees ages 18-25. We need more of this! Young people are the future, and we need to get as many of them involved as we can. As soon as the party reaches this goal, they’ll be on top.

I have the utmost respect for members of the Republican Party and firmly stand behind the work they are trying to achieve. I personally will stand behind them as they prepare for 2016 so that we can turn this country around.