Both the College Republicans and the College Democrats of UW-Madison closely watched for the Iowa caucus results throughout Monday night.
Though neither student organization will endorse a candidate during the primary, both organizations provided concerns about the opposition’s candidates.
“It’s been fun to watch this clown car unfold over the last few months and I am excited to keep watching it over the next few,” said Augie McGinnity-Wake, press secretary for the College Democrats. “It’s good entertainment.”
“Our number one goal is to win an election against either somebody who is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist or somebody who is trying to keep the FBI off her back with regards to keeping classified emails on a private server,” said Anthony Birch, chairman of the College Republicans. “We think the best way to do that is to maintain a united front.”
The College Democrats held a watch party Monday night at Memorial Union. Not all of its members could attend the event, as some travelled to Iowa, including the organization’s president, Chet Agni.
Both organizations have plans to bolster the campaign of their party’s eventual presidential nominee in the 2016 election.
The College Democrats are teaming up with two other student organizations, Badgers for Hillary and Badgers for Bernie, to help students register to vote on campus, which Wake called a “sign of solidarity” for Democrats on campus.
The College Republicans, which includes around 180 dues-paying members, fundraise year-round for the Republican party.
“We’re willing and ready to work with the campaign of the candidate who comes out of here to spread the conservative message on campus, whether that is monetary or manpower,” Birch said.
Though Wake and Birch may not align politically, both stressed the importance of political engagement and voting among students.
Wake said this is an imperative election because students have been heavily debated. Issues involving students, especially student debt, have been at the forefront of every candidate’s proposed platform.
“This has really real effects for us this time around,” Wake said.
Regardless of political affiliation, Birch emphasized the significance of students having their voice heard.
“If you like the way things are going, you should vote to keep things going that way,” Birch said. “And if you’re upset with how things are going, then you definitely need to vote to ensure that changes."
For Republicans, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won the Iowa caucus with 28 percent, while American businessman Donald Trump, finished second with 24 percent. More than two and a half hours after the polls, the two remaining Democratic candidates, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were locked in a virtual tie.
Both Birch and Wake discussed the results of the Iowa caucus.
“The Democrats’ average age of their candidates is 71 years old after Martin O’Malley dropped out. Who’s out of touch?” Birch said, also noting the diversity represented among the lead Republican candidates.
Wake said the statistical tie is “a testament to the great campaigns run by Hillary and Bernie.” Looking ahead, Wake said that he believes “it’s a three-way race between Cruz, Trump and Rubio at this point” for the Republican nomination.