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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Iowa Caucus: local political leaders talk candidates and polls

Tom Price

GOP candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters and protestors during his rally at Mesa-Phoenix Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona on Wednesday, Dec. 16. 

With the Iowa caucus currently in progress, Americans will finally cast votes and get a glimpse into the 2016 presidential general election, and who the presidential nominees might be.

Both Republicans and Democrats are taking part in the Iowa Caucus on Monday to vote for their candidate of choice, which will help influence how party delegates will vote during their party’s national convention.

Both parties will be hosting their national conventions in July this year, where party nominees will be chosen.

Going into the first caucus of the campaign season, political insiders, campaign staff and media try to predict a winner, and give their opinions on what the candidates bring to the table.

“I have learned to not expect to see anything in particular — anything can happen,” said Jo Holt, Pima County Democratic Party chair.

Holt said she believes the Republican ticket will be between Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas. For the Democratic ticket, Holt said that she sees a competition between two candidates.

“I’m still going to give a nod to Hillary over Bernie,” she said. “I think they’re both wonderful, but these are just guesses.”

While predicting the party’s nominee can be a toss in the air, Holt has her eye on a particular Democratic candidate.

“I think that Hillary is more electable and I think it’s high time that we have a woman as president of the United States,” Holt said. “I think she is remarkably well qualified to do that job.”

However, Holt is happy to have seen Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont join the race.

“I think that Bernie has helped pull Hillary a little more to the left, which gets her a little more into the center,” Holt said.

Clinton has a tendency to lean toward the right, Holt said. But in order for the Democratic candidate to be successful and become the nominee, Holt thinks it’s important for her to stay closer to the center of the political spectrum.

Holt said the race between Sanders and Clinton is healthy for the Democratic party.

“Once the nominee has been decided, then we have to be sure that we unite,” Holt said.

Pima County Republican Party Chairman Bill Beard, said until the Iowa Caucuses, Americans have only had poll numbers to see where their candidate stands.

“Real voters are actually going to have an opportunity to vote this time, that’s what’s different,” Beard said. “It won’t be speculation.”

Beard said he thinks the Republican nominee is between three candidates: Sen. Marco Rubio, Cruz and Trump.

“Personally, I think it’s going to take more than just Iowa and New Hampshire for the eventual nominee to be known,” Beard said.

As the campaign season continues, Beard said it’s been a strange yet entertaining year for politics.

According to the Des Moines register poll, Clinton is leading only 2 percent ahead of Sanders for the Iowa Caucus.

“You could probably put a cigarette paper between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as far as governing style differences,” Beard said.

For Holt, a Democrat president in 2016, “speaks to working families.” Inequality and wealth continue to burden working families, as well as the tax burden which also falls on the shoulders of these families, she said.

Beard said President Barack Obama has pushed the boundaries of executive and constitutional authority.

A Republican president in 2016 means, “a restoration in sanity and balance between the branches of government,” Beard said.

Follow Amanda Oien on Twitter

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