Student reflect on prolonged primary process

By Guransh Singh, Staff Writer

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The Republican primary process began Jan. 3 and will continue until June 26. The candidates are competing against each other in order to win the nomination of the party, but none of them have built a large enough lead for the others to drop out of the race. As a result, there will be a long and hard-fought campaign for the nomination which will only help the incumbent, President Barack Obama.
Because none of the candidates have a big lead, all they are doing is bashing the other candidates to make them look bad to voters. These practices have the long-term effect of hurting their own candidacies and helping Obama.
According to a Feb. 12 poll conducted by CBS News, 57 percent of people think that a prolonged primary hurts the Republican candidates, 35 percent think it will help them, six percent do not know, and two percent think that it will have no effect on their candidacies.
The candidates bash each other through advertisements in order to get a leg up on the others, but it negatively impacts their image in the eye of the public. During the general election, the voters will remember all of the negative advertisements and may vote for Obama as a result. 
According to a March 5 Wall Street Journal poll, in a hypothetical race against any of the four current candidates, Obama would win head-to-head in each of them. He would defeat Mitt Romney 50 percent to 44 percent; he would defeat Newt Gingrich 54 percent to 37 percent; he would defeat Rick Santorum 53 percent to 39 percent, and he would defeat Ron Paul 50 percent to 42 percent.
Once the primaries are over, Obama can start spending all the money he has saved up and use it for positive advertisements to get positive name recognition. Also, when a candidate is nominated, Obama will be able to use old negative ads from other Republicans as sound-bites.
This primary year might draw comparisons to 2008 when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama intensely debated until June, but those candidates did not go for personal attacks but rather argued about electability and experience. This year, the candidates have spent most of their time and money going after the other candidates’ personal history.
According to a Feb. 6 NPR interview with Vanderbilt University political scientist John Geer, 75 percent of Gingrich’s and Romney’s ads have been negative since the Iowa caucus this year. However, in 1980, only two percent of ads were negative, which shows the drastic change in the view on how to win the GOP nomination.
As a result of a prolonged primary, the candidates will lose their appeal to voters, which will help President Obama win the votes of the people. Therefore, the candidates need to step up and increase their appeal to voters to win the nomination quicker and get rid of the negatives that come with a prolonged primary process.