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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 “American Mayor.”

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 Democracy Project.

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. 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 race.

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.”

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