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Mace & Crown | April 26, 2017

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Where Monarchs Stand on the Upcoming Virginia Primary

Where Monarchs Stand on the Upcoming Virginia Primary
Jonah Grinkewitz
News Editor

As the March 1st Virginia presidential primary election approaches, candidates are increasing their efforts to gain support in Hampton Roads. Students here at ODU are also getting involved with the election, which has brought up many issues millennials are facing such as college education, climate change and income inequality.

A Twitter poll by the Mace & Crown showed that 61 percent of students said they will vote in the upcoming primary.

Disclaimer: Results of this poll are not representative of the student body of ODU

“We’re younger, and we’re saddled with the debt that our parents didn’t have when they got out of college,” Charles Christie, president of the ODU Democrats organization, said.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has inspired many young voters across the nation with his idealism and views on education reform. Christie sees the same type of enthusiasm from students on campus.

“I attribute it to the issues that are coming forward, and I think Bernie has pushed those issues into the national conversation and has forced Hillary to embrace those issues as important to a lot of people and cannot be ignored,” Christie said.

When it comes to education, Christie senses that students would rather aim for reform than settle with the status quo.

Sanders has proposed implementing free college education, which is appealing to young voters, but his opponents are attacking the practicality of this plan.

“It would be a societal shift that would probably take four or five years to implement,” Christie said.

Candidates from both parties have intensified their campaign in Virginia with the upcoming primary.

Democratic candidates Sanders and Clinton have opened campaign offices in Norfolk. Republican candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson will each speak at Regent University on Feb. 24, 26 and 29, respectively.

A recent poll by Christopher Newport University showed Clinton leading for the Democrats with a 12-point lead over Sanders, and Trump in front for the Republicans with a 6-point lead over Rubio. Senator Cruz was 2 points behind Rubio in the poll as well.

ODU students can vote on March 1 at the Larchmont Elementary School and Lambert’s Point Library. The Student Government Association will also be leading walks to the polls to encourage students to vote.

Christie is very positive about motivating students to vote.

“That is exactly why our organization exists; to engage students, educate them and then encourage them to vote,” Christie said. “Are we going to get the same turnout as we do in a presidential election? Absolutely not. But am I optimistic that for a primary this is going to be one of the highest turnouts for this district? I think it will be.”

The ODU Republicans could not be reached for comment.