While student leaders in Cornell Democrats and Cornell Republicans said they were not surprised by the results of the New Hampshire primaries on Tuesday, the parties agreed that the outcomes reveal “drastic changes to the electorate.”
Donald Trump won 35.1 percent of votes, earning 10 delegates, while Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) won three and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) took two each. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) won the Democratic primary with 60 percent of the votes, earning 13 delegates, while Hillary Clinton earned 38.4 percent of the vote, picking up nine delegates.
Fernando Quiroz ’16, president of the Cornell Political Union, said he was not expecting the shift in the types of the candidates that voters preferred in this election.
“Unlike before, the two outsider and anti-establishment candidates, Trump and Sanders, won New Hampshire by a clear margin,” Quiroz said. “In my opinion, this lack of support for ‘establishment’ candidates suggests that the American people, including both Democrats and Republicans alike, are sick and tired of the standard Washington politics.”
On the other hand, Nathaniel Jara ’16, vice president of the Cornell Democrats, said that he was “glad to see such a healthy, competitive, issues-based race.”
“Hillary Clinton and Bernie are two outstanding candidates and the Cornell Democrats will be proud to work to elect whoever the party chooses to represent us in the general election,” Jara said. “I don’t think I can say the same for our friends on the other side. The vulgar, disgusting attacks their leading candidates have thrown at each other speaks greatly about the state of the party and its tolerance for rational, experienced candidates.”
Jake Zhu ’18, first vice chair of the Cornell Republicans, said that Sanders’ and Trump’s win in New Hampshire were expected, but he expressed dissatisfaction with both the Democratic and the Republican winner.
“The implications are horrendous because our country is being overtaken by an absurd, populist wave that throws away all logic and rationale in favor of fallacious economic idealism,” Zhu said. “Wall Street doesn’t give any money to Trump and Bernie because it understands that these two candidates do not have the best economic interests of the country at heart.”
Jara said that he felt Donald Trump’s win “legitimize[s] Donald Trump’s role as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.”
However, Trump’s win is dangerous, because the candidate “wins votes by appealing to hate and vile personal attacks,” according to William Bristow ’16, president of the Cornell Democrats.
“Although New Hampshire was supposed to bring the Republican primary race back to reality, apparently it did not,” Bristow said. “Trump’s rhetoric is not only divisive; it is dangerous as well. I hope Republican voters will eventually choose reason over reaction.”