Iowa Caucus shakes up Democratic primary

Prior to the 2020 Iowa Caucus, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg was consistently polling lower than other Democratic Presidential candidates. However, after winning the most delegates at the Caucus, Buttigieg has become a front-runner for the party’s nomination.

With the Democratic primaries set to take place in the coming months, New Trier students will be paying close attention to the campaign performance of Buttigiegas well as those of his competitors.

Senior Jane Rosin, a co-head of the New Trier Young Democrats club, attended the Iowa Caucus and has been closely following the candidates. She believes that their stances on healthcare could be a deciding factor in who wins the race.

“I don’t have a problem with [Joe] Biden’s single-payer healthcare plan and that plan’s representation of him as a more modern Democrat, but I don’t feel that America is financially ready for that yet,” said Rosin.

“I also like Warren and Sanders’ plans on national government/ single payer healthcare, but I’m not sold on Warren’s because of her vagueness on how her plan is going to work. I know Buttigieg is far more of a centrist and doesn’t support Medicaid for all, and I feel like a lot of his stances on several issues are too flexible, which is what I don’t like about him.”

The rapidly diminishing opportunity to address climate change has also made it a hotly- debated issue during the primary cycle, and many students, including junior Lucas Eisen, have formulated opinions on how the candidates should combat the issue.

Eisen has paid close attention to the Democratic candidates’ plans to address climate change.

“I like the more realistic approach that Warren and Sanders are taking, which is the more aggressive route of taxing big corporations and establishing various infrastructures to protect vital environments,” Eisen said. “I don’t think this is much of a talking point for Joe Biden even though he should have some kind of strategy due to the dire state we’re in right now.”

Junior Antigone Zervas, a Democratic student who also serves as secretary of New Trier’s Republican Club, has also paid close attention to how the candidates plan to address climate change. While Zervas does not think that Buttigieg’s method of addressing climate change is unique among the candidates, she supports a significant portion of his plans.

“I like the idea of putting a tax on carbon emissions, especially since it has bipartisan approval,” said Zervas. “[Buttigieg] also has a $200 billion plan over 10 years to assist and retrain displaced employees in the fossil fuel industry such as coal miners. While I’m not a fan of government retraining programs because they don’t work, this policy is much better than Biden’s plan, which said that coal miners should learn to code.”

Another prominent issue at play has been the business practices of big technology companies. Warren and Sanders, especially, have criticized these companies’ treatment of consumers and have expressed concern about their role in the economy in general.

“I do like [Sanders’] and Warren’s plan regarding tech company regulation, but I’m disappointed, though, that Biden hasn’t come up with a solid plan for this,” Zervas said. “If he doesn’t have solutions to issues that affect our generation like this one, he won’t really get much of the younger voter base.”

With the Iowa Caucus and other primaries and caucuses beginning to narrow the field of Democratic candidates, the strongest potential challengers to President Trump have emerged. In the end, voters will evaluate the issues and decide the nominee.