GOP primary, according to campus organizations

CDEK: Campus Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians comment on the GOP presidential candidates.

The campus Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians agree the economy will be paramount in the GOP primary election.

“The big issue is, ‘What is the plan for dealing with the (United States) government budget deficit?’” said Joseph Haslag, professor and director of the Economic Policy Analysis and Research Center. “Current plans smack of Greece, Spain and Portugal. They’re unsustainable.”

The campus political organizations also agreed on who the GOP primary frontrunners are. All three groups listed Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney as the current leaders. Young Americans for Liberty President Abhi Sivasailam included Ron Paul among the forerunners.

“Ron Paul has consistently polled strongly over the past several months and his momentum is slowly building,” Sivasailam said.

Paul placed second in Iowa’s Ames straw poll, 152 votes behind Bachmann.

The candidates are all facing issues this election, and the campus parties couldn’t agree on who was facing the most problems in the long run. Mizzou College Democrats President Matthew Tharp said Romney is facing the most issues at the moment with Republicans, largely because of RomneyCare.

But, Tharp also said Romney is the top contender and the most likely to defeat Obama in 2012.

“Romney is the scariest candidate for Democrats,” Tharp said.

On the other hand, Mizzou College Republicans President Craig Arnzen said it was Newt Gingrich who faces the most problems.

“His campaign never even got off the ground,” Arnzen said.

Sivasailam said Ron Paul faces the biggest issues.

“Ron Paul is facing the most substantial obstacle: neglect from the media and much of the Republican establishment,” Sivasailam said.

However, all three were of one accord when it came to Sarah Palin.

“Palin’s days are likely numbered, if not over, as a public servant,” Arnzen said, a statement with which his contemporaries agree, though they allowed for her having some influence in the race.

“Sarah Palin will only be a factor if she endorses Perry,” Tharp said.

Given Congress’ low approval ratings, the three student group presidents were unsure as to whether or not the candidates' voting records will be a help or a hindrance.

“They (voting records) are a double-edged sword,” said Arnzen, who also said Bachmann’s lack of victories in Congress could damage her campaign.

The student group presidents acknowledged everything could drastically change in a few months. But, for the time being, the groups have their preferred candidates. The College Republicans support Perry, the College Democrats support Romney and Paul and the College Libertarians support Paul.

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