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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Hinckley Institute forum analyzes candidates

By Rita Totten, Staff Writer

Hinckley Institute of Politics director Kirk Jowers said Thursday that Democratic candidate Barack Obama will likely win the presidency because of his unprecedented ability to raise money and run a grassroots campaign.

Jowers, a McCain supporter, discussed his views on both the Republican and Democratic parties and their candidates from the primaries to the nominations at a forum in the Hinckley Caucus Room.

When the election season first started, it looked as though Sen. Hillary Clinton was a sure thing for the Democrats, Jowers said, because she had the hype, the money and the staff to support her in the primaries.

Clinton focused much of her efforts on the established democratic supporters8212;the ones with money8212;and campaigned with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, who Jowers referred to as “Bad Bill.”

Obama took a different approach and started with the grassroots, reaching people who might not have been very politically involved in the past.

In one year, Obama raised more money for his campaign than any of the 2004 presidential hopefuls combined, Jowers said.

The Republican Party wasn’t in as good a shape, and Jowers described John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney as “three awkward candidates for the Republican Party.”

McCain, seen as a maverick, didn’t seem to fit with most traditional Republicans, Jowers said.

Religious and personal issues plagued Romney and Giuliani in their quest for the nomination.

With only days before the election, students at the forum asked whether voting really matters in states such as Utah that seem to be primarily Republican or Democrat.

“Democracy matters,” Jowers said. “We each matter.”

Jowers said that it takes the efforts of all parties to get involved to work out the nation’s problems, and although it might seem that individual votes don’t matter, people need to vote to show they are paying attention.

“You will be more affected by the local races, with state legislation and local representatives,” Jowers said.

Tim Hale, an MBA student, said he came to the forum looking for information on who to vote for.

“I liked how (Jowers) kept it bipartisan8212;he didn’t choose sides,” Hale said.

Jowers encouraged students to vote and applauded voter registration and early voting at the U.

“Studies have shown that if an individual votes from the first time they are eligible, they are more likely to continue voting throughout their lifetime,” Jowers said. “Someday, you will all have kids. Vote for your kids.”

The Hinckley Institute will host its next forum, titled “Who Won and Why,” on Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. The forum will feature Kirk Jowers, Dan Jones and will be hosted by Doug Fabrizio.

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