By KACEY D. RICHARD
Although it is uncommon to declare candidacy so early in
the year prior to a presidential election, candidates for the 2008 election
started emerging as early as March of last year in hopes of becoming the 44th
President of the United States.
Jason Pigg, interim head of social sciences, said, “This
topic is so interesting because it is so early in the stages, and the
candidates are already out there engaging with the public.”
“Super Tuesday” is still months away but already the
primary ballots will feature candidates ranging from a black, junior senator
from Illinois and a former first lady to an ex-prisoner of war and the
Super Tuesday is the Tuesday in early March when most
states simultaneously hold their primary election.
This is also the single day when the most nominating
delegates can be won.
Aside from the candidates, the 2008 election will be the
first non-incumbent race in 80 years where neither president nor sitting vice
president will campaign.
In September 2006, Tech teamed up with the American
Association of State Colleges and Universities to promote the American
ADP is a group of 219 campuses that seek to create an
understanding of the political system.
Over a two week process, Pigg and other volunteer
teachers successfully registered about 600 students.
Ross Beattie, a junior mechanical engineering major,
said, “It’s our generation that can make the change, and if we don’t vote
nothing can be done.”
Early controversies that shadow the distant election
include campaign expenditures and funding.
In January, Michael Toner, federal election commission
chairman, referred to the 2008 election as “the most expensive in history,”
estimating a billion dollar tab.
Toner also said to be taken seriously the candidates will
need to raise $100 million by the end of 2007.
CNN.com conducted a poll by Opinion Research Corporation
Jan. 19, showing Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois trailing New York Sen. Hillary
Clinton for the Democratic seat.
In the past year, Obama has become the darling of the
Democratic Party due to his passionate and articulate way of speaking.
Though Obama gained his fame through his speeches some
students don’t quite feel the impact of them.
Scarlett Fiegel, a sophomore biomedical engineering
major, said, “Although he is a wonderful speaker, when he finishes his speeches
sometimes you miss the point.”
Obama addressed his rivals issuing an unusual challenge
for the two major party nominees to limit fundraising and general spending for
the election Feb 8.
The candidates said they are for the public financial
system and support its upgrades, but Clinton, Dem. John Edwards and Republican
Sen. John McCain of Arizona have already begun raising private money.
McCain in particular has led efforts to tighten campaign
laws for the FEC.
McCain became a political figure after returning from
Vietnam, having been held as a POW for five and a half years.
McCain, like rival candidate Rudy Giuliani, is pro-choice
and pro-gay rights.
Stories from The New York Times have indicated that both
have angered social conservatives, making them a target for strong pro-life and
anti-gay marriage candidates Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
Giuliani filed for an exploratory committee in November
2006 but has yet to declare official candidacy.
Concern is being expressed across newsstands on whether
or not Giuliani will back out of the election as he did in the 2000 senate
With the election so far away and the diversity of
candidates, it is difficult to foresee the nation’s favorite.
Pigg said, “So early in the process it is really hard to
predict who will be ahead in a year from now.”