Fates of McCain, Bradley will be sealed with day’s election

Lisa Cassady and Jocelyn Marcus

Voters in states across the country today will most likely make or break the campaigns of second-place candidates Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley.

Alex Tuckness, assistant professor of political science, said the trailing candidates will have to perform big today to stay in the campaign.

“I think poor showings by McCain and Bradley could make it very difficult for them to win,” he said. “Strong showings by McCain and Bradley could make it a very tight race.”

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science, said in the GOP race, both McCain and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are leading in some key states.

“The polls seem to be saying that in California, Bush is pretty significantly ahead. In New York, [Bush and McCain] are even. In Ohio, it looked like McCain was pretty much ahead,” he said.

Schmidt said he thinks McCain will definitely win in Massachusetts and a few other states, while Bush should nab Georgia. However, he said the Texas governor will likely be ahead after today.

“It’s a mixed picture, but most of the polls seem to say that Bush should come out with a lot more of the delegates on Tuesday night than McCain,” he said.

Jim Hutter, associate professor of political science, said the Republican race is unusual in that a clear front-runner is usually more established by Super Tuesday.

“It’s one of the more unusual races for president we’ve had in several years in that we’ve come this far without a single candidate emerging as the victor in the Republican race,” he said.

The Democratic nomination is more clear-cut, he said.

“We’ve known for quite some time that Gore was going to come out ahead,” Hutter said. “I don’t think Bradley’s won a single state.”

Schmidt said the close race means candidates must spend more time campaigning for the nominations, and it has resulted in a large voter turnout for the primaries.

“People are showing up in huge numbers,” he said. “So, in a way, the longer campaign is making people more excited about it.”

John Klein, member of Students for Bradley, said he realized that it would take one of the biggest upsets in recent political history for Bradley to come away with any major wins today.

“It’s a long shot. He will do better in the Northeast where they’re more independent. Bradley is not likely to get the nomination, but when it is all said and done, we should plan to support whoever wins the [Democratic] nomination. I myself plan to do the same,” said Klein, freshman in political science.

Klein said the best feasible scenario would be for Bradley to at least carry one state.

“If he wins any state, it will be good. He has been drawing blanks. If he doesn’t win a state, I would expect he would drop out. I’d say the odds were for Gore,” he said.

Andy Tofilon, chairman of Cyclones for Gore, said he thought Bradley would be knocked out of the race after Super Tuesday.

“It’s the last chance [for Bradley] to become credible,” said Tofilon, sophomore in pre-journalism and mass communication.

Tofilon said he thought Gore would win in the major states, such as California and New York. Bradley “may win in the New England states, but it is highly unlikely,” he said.

Garrett Toay, chairman of Students for Bush, said even though many analysts think today might be McCain’s last stand, he still predicts a long campaign.

“Gov. Bush will win the Republican-only primaries, but I think it will be a horse race down to the end,” said Toay, senior in agricultural business.