By Sam Phillips
The Ohio primary is on March 15, so student political organizations at Youngstown State University are doing their part to educate fellow students on the candidates and issues and making sure they are registered to vote.
Lindsay Heldreth, YSU chapter vice president of No Labels, said she will vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary because he is a problem solver.
“Though his views are far to the left, he’s forged good relationships with his republican colleagues,” Heldreth said. “He is willing and able to work with those who have opposing viewpoints, while at the same time refusing to shed his beliefs.”
While Sanders has not received No Labels’ problem solver seal of approval, she said his willingness to compromise is consistent with the organization’s desire to fix, not fight.
“I am confident that with a Sanders presidency; we would observe a more productive government,” she said.
Emily Ethridge is the YSU chapter president of Turning Point USA, which supports free markets and limited government. She said she frequently talks to students that want the government out of their lives.
“Many of these same students support Bernie Sanders,” Ethridge said. “I challenge those who feel that way to consider whether supporting Sanders and being anti-government are consistent positions.”
Ethridge supported Sen. Rand Paul until he ended his campaign. With Paul gone, she said she will vote for Gov. John Kasich because he isn’t Donald Trump.
“Trump represents the corrupt relationship between Washington and Wall Street,” Ethridge said. “The political upheaval surrounding his campaign is fascinating but dangerous.”
Ethridge said those who feel disillusioned should have faith in our democracy because the people have the power.
“It is time that we stop voting for the lesser of two evils and choose the greater good,” she said. “We get the federal government we deserve.”
Marissa Taylor, a member of YSU College Democrats, is another Bernie Sanders supporter. She likes his plan for tuition-free college education.
“I think it will help a lot of people that normally can’t afford the schooling they need to get a well-paying job to support their families,” Taylor said. “That’s my number one issue.”
She also said Sanders’ support of single-payer healthcare resonates with her because her family has medical problems and lacks good insurance. She thinks Sanders is the best candidate in the race.
“People always say he’s not electable or he’s not going to get stuff done,” Taylor said. “But if you think about it, he’s been elected into office many years longer than Hillary … People say the Republicans won’t work with him. Well, they worked with him for years.”
Taylor said Ohio is a crucial state for Sanders. She said more people should support him if they’re voting for Clinton because they think she has a better chance, noting that Clinton was expected to beat Barack Obama in 2008.
Kelly Motika, field director for Turning Point USA, said her favorite candidates are Marco Rubio and John Kasich.
She said she likes Rubio’s optimism and youth, while Kasich’s policies are aligned with hers, and she approves of his work as governor.
She plans on voting for Kasich in the primary because he has a better chance of denying Trump delegates.
“Trump needs to go, so I am voting for Kasich,” Motika said. “In the general, I am definitely advocating for Rubio more.”
Motika said people shouldn’t be afraid to have moderate views instead of completely siding with one party or another.
“There’s middle ground,” Motika said. “You don’t have to declare yourself a democrat just because you agree with them on two things. There’s more to look at than just free college, free healthcare and military spending.”