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From The Hill

February 12, 2016

Wow. What a ride the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary have been. Who would have thought that the race in Iowa would have been so close on the Democratic side or that Texas Senator Ted Cruz would have beaten Donald Trump. The results in New Hampshire were less of a surprise, with Trump winning the Republican side and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders cleaning up on the Democratic side. It will be interesting to see how the candidates fare as the primaries and caucuses continue. The next two primaries will be the Democratic caucuses in Nevada and the Republican primary in South Carolina on Saturday, February 20th. These contests will be the real test for the candidates. I predict that the next candidate to drop out will be Governor Jeb Bush on the Republican side due to his low numbers. However, he may hold on for a long time due to the large amount of money in his war chest.

One thing that seems to be upsetting some people about the New Hampshire primary is that, although Secretary Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote by just over 20%, she and Sanders will be surprisingly close in their delegate counts from the state. To understand this, you must remember that this is nothing new. Beginning in 1968 after the turbulent Democratic National Convention in Chicago, superdelegates were created in order to give the party leaders less power over the nomination decisions with more of a focus to the votes during the campaign. The plan was done in response to the divided convention and violent protests that occurred. Superdelegates are divided up into two groups: delegates who are prior elected officials (such as members of Congress) and unelected delegates that are chosen by the state party. They are allowed to support whichever candidate that they like the most, no matter how their state voted. As of press time according to NPR, Sanders has fifteen delegates and Clinton nine delegates. However, Clinton also received the pledged support of six extra superdelegates with two that are uncommitted while Sanders has none. With those two uncommitted superdelegates, Clinton could surpass Sanders and win New Hampshire. You should also know that superdelegates can change who they are supporting up until the convention, which will take place on July 25th through the 28th in Philadelphia. Until July, we will not know how many delegates that Clinton or Sanders will receive.

Just a reminder, the Illinois Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 15th. The final day that you can register to vote in the primary is on February 16th, so be sure to get registered online or at the Warren County Clerk’s Office(in the Courthouse). If you get registered at the clerk’s office, you must bring two forms of I.D. Complete your civic duty, get out and vote.

Jacob Marx
Political Columnist

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