Campus Voices: The Race, the State of the Union and the Acquittal

The UT conducted an informal survey of campus community members on their thoughts of a historic week

Richard Tzul, News Managing Editor

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On Monday night, the much-anticipated Iowa caucuses had arrived. The process is recognized for delivering momentum to the winning candidate of the state. That momentum was stalled when the results of the caucus were delayed due to technical difficulties with a new app; plus, inconsistencies and errors in the reporting of results, according to a New York Times investigation. It was an unprecedented fiasco for the Democratic party as they intended to narrow the selection of their potential nominee for the presidential race.

The Iowa Democratic Party said it released results from 100 percent of voting precincts; however, the Associated Press has declined to declare a winner due to the muddled and flawed voting process. On Friday, the IDP announced it would review 5 percent of its results. President Donald Trump weighed in, calling it an “unmitigated disaster.”

“The DNC and Tom Perez,” the Democratic National Committee chairman, “should really get on that. It shouldn’t be like that at all,” said Javier Moro, a political science major, when asked about his thoughts on the situation.

In the evening after the caucus, Trump delivered his State of the Union speech. Two of the biggest highlights was Trump seemingly declining Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s handshake offer. In turn, Pelosi tore up her copy of the speech at the end of Trump’s remarks.

“I think you have to [fight] fire with fire. I absolutely feel Speaker Pelosi was just in doing what she did. When you are immature and idiotic as this person is,” Gabriel Avila, an art history graduate student, said referring to Trump, “you have to play by their rules.”

The day after the State of the Union, Trump was acquitted on both impeachment articles almost entirely along party lines. However, there was a major exception, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting to convict Trump on the first article, abuse of power. (Romney voted to acquit on the second article: obstruction of congress.)

“I applaud him, I think he is an independent thinker. I think that he went with his own integrity and his virtues and what he felt was right,” said Communications Professor Lena Chao. “I think it’s time we had more politicians like him who just stand up for their own principles and not just, you know, follow the bandwagon.”

Democrats and liberal voters are anxious to defeat Trump, but the latest data has fueled that uneasiness. Along with a dysfunctional Democratic caucus, the president’s acquittal, Trump has his highest approval ratings since entering office according to the most recent Gallup poll.

“When I saw everything that was going on with the Democrats this week, I just thought to myself: Trump is going to get elected for another four years,” said Damian Nevarez, an English major. “There’s no way around it.”