The March 1st Primary is just days away, and the 2016 election year is shaping up to be one of a kind. More people are tuning in to presidential debates, and following the campaign on social media.
“This day in age, I think there is less of a clear identity for Americans and I think that’s some of why we’re seeing the fighting between political parties,” said Steve Garrison, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science at Midwestern State University.
The arguments, and campaign strategies have created a political frenzy generating more attention from unusual voters.
“Even last fall, in September, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were regularly getting over 10,000 people at campaign events well a year ahead of the presidential election,” said Garrison. “It's almost unheard of.”
It’s generating new, younger voters.
“It's also a double-edged sword,” said Garrison. “Young people are less likely to vote. So it sounds great and they may be the most likely to do the campaign rallies and things of that nature, but for whatever reason when the general elections come around they are always the lowest voting percentage among age groups.”
Students on the Midwestern State University campus, said campaign 2016 is something they've been following now more than in the past.
“I think it’s really crazy. I mean it’s really entertaining, especially the Republican party,” said Student Garrett Morris. “Although I don’t necessarily like those guys, it's like super fun to watch their debates.”
“I see myself in my dorm reading more about it now, than how a few years ago I would just be like ‘ok cool’ that’s the president,” said MSU student Selena Davis.
While entertaining, other students wonder how the buzz will transition into votes.
“It could go either way,” said Madeline Parker. “It’s a great thing that they're deciding to get involved, but I think it could be bad because they're looking at it more as a game show.
Although Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are leading the polls, they are at the bottom of the barrel for students at MSU.
“I voted for Bernie Sanders because I think he has the best chance at bringing the American people together,” said Morris.
“It’s kind of up in the air with how things are going,” said Parker. “I’m a conservative, so I’m just going to say not Trump, at the moment.”
Garrison said, because this election is so different than years past it's hard to predict where it is heading.
Political Science Professor Helmut Norpoth, who used an electoral cycle model to predict this year's general election winner, is forecasting a victory for Donald Trump, according to an article written in The Statesman.
It's been used since 1912 and every year, except in 1960, the prediction has been right on the money.
Wichita county early voting numbers show, so far, 5,836 votes. That is compared to the presidential election in 2012, where 3,663 early votes were cast.