GUEST COLUMN: Disappointment, disinterest and Donald

College Republicans at CMU respond to Republican candidates aiming at the primary nomination

Members of the College Republicans RSO at CMU pose for a photo in front of Park Library. Photo courtesy of Evan Gibeau
Logo for the College Republicans at CMU RSO. Photo courtesy of Evan Gibeau.

By Central Michigan College Republicans, courtesy of Evan Gibeau

The College Republicans at Central Michigan University have been following the 2024 primary very closely. 

During the debate season, there was much discussion about who would be best suited to fulfill the Republican candidacy in the next election. Vivek Ramaswamy, being the young political outsider, seemed to resonate most with club members, with many citing his poise, determination and America-first policy why he would be best suited to be the Republican candidate.

Ron DeSantis was second in support from the College Republicans. He presents himself well and has the political experience to be equipped to handle pressing issues in the White House, in the same way he has while holding office in Florida.

Besides these two candidates, the group held strong opposition to Nikki Haley, who has been referred to by those inside and outside of the club as the "establishment candidate." She has undoubtedly received the most money and support from corporate bidders. 

Her experience as United Nations ambassador, and many comments she made while holding this position (particularly pertaining to China), made her seem like the least-appropriate candidate to represent current party ideals. In addition, many comments she has made recently have been alarming, as they concern the personal and individual freedoms we hold in the United States. 

Moving on from Haley, Chris Christie was also strongly opposed, as many felt he ran solely to take votes from Donald Trump. Christie remained the laughingstock of the debates, as many comments he made were particularly weak and ill-worded.

Donald Trump is a candidate that many within the club feel like should not be on the next ballot. 

Many of us are under the notion that after losing to Joe Biden – one of the weakest candidates that the Democratic party has ever fronted – he stands little chance at beating him again, despite Biden’s trainwreck of a term. We felt it was clear from the last election that policy means very little to the average voter, and that character and identity politics are at the forefront of modern-day elections. 

That being said, it seems counterproductive to push Trump onto the ballot again, as his usual rhetoric and past comments seemed to be too much for moderate voters to tolerate. However, the Republican base appears to still be rallying behind Trump as he trudges on to the next election, despite the next looming trial. 

This was remarkably evident after the Iowa caucus, where Trump won heavy-handedly over his competitors, despite not attending a single GOP debate. This was of little surprise to the club. 

However, the quick concessions of Ramaswamy and DeSantis came as a surprise, especially considering that DeSantis was second place in that primary. It is believed that Vivek dropped out of the race for a few reasons, one of which being that he was (unfortunately) the last-place contender, and the other being that he may be setting himself up for a crack at the Vice President spot on Trump’s ticket. 

The latter is not confirmed, although well within possibility. 

With only Trump and Haley left on the ballot, we feel it is near guaranteed that Trump is the Republican candidate in 2024. Haley has since lost every primary, including those she had the most stake in. She even lost the Feb. 6 Nevada primary – where Trump was not on the ballot – with “None of these candidates” holding 63.3% of the vote. 

Trump subsequently claimed all 26 Nevada delegates during its caucus on Feb. 8. As of Tuesday and with voting open in Michigan, Haley currently sits at 17 delegates to Trump’s 63. The ultimate nominee must claim 1,215 delegates, according to the Associated Press

Evan Gibeau is the President of College Republicans at CMU, and an environmental engineering major in his senior year.