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East Coast primaries around the corner

Trisha Maldonado

Registered voters on the East Coast will have the chance to vote for presidential candidates this month. The first primary will be in New York on Tuesday.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will have their primaries April 26.

Texas primaries took place on March 1. In the Republican Party, Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump by 17.1 percent. In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by 32 percent.

“Sanders has done very well in caucuses,” said Mark Kaswan, a political science professor at UT Rio Grande Valley.

“In fact, most of the recent results have actually been in caucus states, not in primary states.”

He said Clinton does better where they have closed primaries and New York is a closed primary.

“Clinton is leading Sanders by double digits in New York and Pennsylvania, which are the two largest upcoming states,” Kaswan said. “I would say Clinton should do pretty strongly in [the states of Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island].”

“I just want to encourage people to vote [for] whoever they believe is the best candidate. It takes, like, five minutes. It’s that easy.
Iridiana Garcia
Psychology senior”

However, Sanders has shown that young people favor him.

“Reportedly, the [percentage rates] have been higher,” the professor said. “But, remember they are only one part of the relatively small group. When you have a group that has traditionally voted in small numbers that turns around and starts to vote in larger numbers, that means they will have a larger impact on the result.”

Kaswan said young voters can make a huge difference in the November election. He also explained what would happen if there is a brokered convention in July for the Republican Party.

“It’s going to be a mess,” the political science professor said. “You are going to see Kasich coming in second a lot more. He may never win another primary, but he will continue to come in second. I think Cruz is going to fade and will start doing worse.”

Jerry Polinard, a political science professor on the Edinburg campus, said it has been decades since the last brokered convention occurred. He also expressed the possibility, however improbable, that the Democrats may have one as well.

“It has been since 1976, since there was a brokered convention,” Polinard said. “The brokered convention is sometimes called an open convention. That refers to a convention to where you don’t know who the nominee is yet.”

Polinard said the conventional wisdom right now is, if that occurs, Trump will lose a lot of delegate support on the second ballot in the Republic party.

He also provided his thoughts on the current state of the presidential campaign.

“Trump is way ahead, in terms of delegate count, of Ted Cruz,” Polinard said. “He is way ahead in terms of the popular vote, super ahead in terms of the popular that he’s won. … Mathematics of it still, Trump is the only one in the three that is, realistically, has a chance to get to that number because he [is] expected to win New York big next week.”

He said Kasich is hiding in the corner and wants a brokered convention to happen.

“That’s literally his only chance because if he won every delegate still out there from now, he wouldn’t have enough going,” Polinard said.

Iridiana Garcia, a psychology major and registered voter, said she does not agree with the candidates.

“They are for the majority, some of them, are decent candidates but we could have a better pool of candidates,” Garcia said. “Hopefully if [Sanders] wins the primary, I will be voting for him as our president.”

She said she voted because she has the opportunity to.

“I just want to encourage people to vote [for] whoever they believe is the best candidate,” the senior said. “It takes, like, five minutes. It’s that easy.”

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