Students of Super Tuesday


Charles Burns

A campaign poster for Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has struggled in recent primary contests.

Charles Burns, Co-Editor-in-Chief

With the Iowa caucuses completed, the New Hampshire contest coming soon, and Super Tuesday roughly a month away, the 2020 Democratic primary is finally beginning to take shape. For several students at Charlottesville High School, the 2020 primary will be their first time voting in any type of federal election. Outside of any personal significance this may hold, this primary could determine the path both the country and the Democratic party takes for years to come. With many prospective voters torn between the more progressive and moderate wings of the party that have put forward several strong candidates, the process has finally begun to yield some solid frontrunners in the last few months.

At C.H.S., it has been difficult to determine any kind of consensus in regard to a favored Democratic candidate for president, but several different contenders have emerged with some degree of support. Archer Lyster, a senior at C.H.S., has said he is undecided as to whether or not he will vote in the Democratic primary, adding that “anyone but Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren” appeals to him. He also expressed surprise at Joe Biden’s underperformance in the partial results of the Iowa caucuses that have been released to the public. Reid Baxley, a senior, voiced support for Tulsi Gabbard, a candidate who has failed to gain much ground with voters, because of “her platform,” citing the war in Afghanistan as an important political issue.

An anonymous senior was split between several candidates, praising Bernie Sanders for the “consistency in his policies,” while also speculating that he “might be too partisan.” Piper Guiffre, a junior, also complimented Sanders, describing his “clear vision of a more equitable future,” and citing the climate crisis as a personal policy concern. An anonymous junior cited “mass incarceration rates, […] stricter gun laws, and […] the environment” as important policy concerns. Another anonymous senior professed their support for Joe Biden, citing his potential ability to “attract some conservatives who are teetering on the edge of voting Republican.” Ellie Detert, another senior, praised Elizabeth Warren as “the most level-headed candidate” and believes “she deeply cares about individuals and their needs.” Ms. Detert cited equal rights for minorities and LGBT people as the social issue she perceives as most important.

While there is no clear favorite Democratic candidate or top policy concern among student respondents, the significance of the coming presidential election is hard to dispute. Coming roughly four years after the shocking victory of Donald Trump, a former television personality turned politician, there are many who see the 2020 election as one that could irrevocably determine the direction of our country and government going forward. Allen Robinson, an AP Government teacher, said that “it’s certainly one [election] where, […] in the clearest of ways, no one can hide behind language that says the choices are all the same, […] where the choice you’re making is stark and clear to a degree it hasn’t been.” With Super Tuesday only weeks away, the whole community and state will soon find out the numerous choices C.H.S. students and the community as a whole make to determine how we are governed and the precedents that are set going forward.