Super night in politics draws students

“Ballroom C of the Student Union on Tuesday night was transformed into a situation room similar to that seen on CNN. TV monitors adorned the corners of the room, whiteboards updated results as they came in and the hubbub was comparable to that of a wrestling match.”

Ballroom C of the Student Union on Tuesday night was transformed into a situation room similar to that seen on CNN. TV monitors adorned the corners of the room, whiteboards updated results as they came in and the hubbub was comparable to that of a wrestling match.

This was the political science honorary society, Pi Sigma Alpha, political watch party to celebrate a much-anticipated night in politics: Super Tuesday.

This is a pretty big night in the history of our country, said College Democrats President Alex Barkley. It’s really exciting.

PSA President Tom Reynolds, who coordinated much of the event, agreed.

We normally don’t get this good of a turnout at watch parties, he said. Last year it was about 50 (people), and I’ve heard there’s well over 100.

Reynolds had his own reasons to be excited, however.

I’m an Obama supporter, he admitted. But I think both Obama and Clinton are going to win some states – I don’t think it will be completely settled tonight.

Another student guest, Bob Niery, voiced his political views by introducing his new organization, Students for Barack Obama. Niery has supported Obama since he spoke at the Dem. National Convention at Boston in 2004.

If Obama doesn’t do well tonight, we’ll just have more work to do, Niery said. The Ohio primary is going to be very important.

When asked if his group would change its name to Students for Hillary Clinton if Obama did not gain the democratic nomination, Niery laughed.

Absolutely not, he said. Obama will win the nomination, and he will be the candidate.

Cory McManamon, an ASG Senator in attendance, expressed a more conservative view by supporting Rep. candidate Mitt Romney.

I like the conservative policies in terms of taxes, privatized health care and social security, he said. I think Romney will do the best for the American economy.

Barkley was also concerned about the economy.

The housing market is in a dire financial situation, he said.

Barkley said he was an Edwards endorser until Edwards dropped out of the race. He now supports Obama.

Faculty Advisor to Pi Sigma Alpha, political science professor Daniel Coffey, explained that the mortgage crisis is one of the reasons as to why the economy is such an important issue in this election, rather than the War in Iraq.

The federal reserve is reaching a recession, Coffey said. Because there is a recession, there are layoffs, and some people are having trouble paying their mortgages.

Political scientists recognize that when there is tension about the job market, voters are most concerned about the economy.

Coffey explained that the war in Iraq was a much larger issue in 2006, when the Democratic Party took control of Congress.

Polls are showing now that the economy is way more important, he said.

Even though the focus of Super Tuesday was not on Ohio, it may have a large roll to play in its March 4 primary.

I think it will come down to Ohio, Barkley said. Especially if the candidates don’t have a deciding vote tonight.

College students will be especially important to the primary, Coffey predicted.

We’re historically in a very good time for politics, Coffey said. The youth vote is very important.