Knowledge of presidential candidates is essential


The poll of CHS students is a telling sign that some candidates get votes simply because they are known by name. Graphic by Rachel Buigas Lopez.

The poll of CHS students is a telling sign that some candidates get votes simply because they are known by name.  Graphic by Rachel Buigas Lopez.


By Nicolas Henderson
Staff Writer


As seniors are preparing to end their high school careers and move on into the real world, the end of their school days come at an important time in American history, as a historic presidential race is currently unfolding.


For most seniors, next year’s November election will be a student’s first presidential election to be able to vote in. It is a pretty good one to start with. In this current election cycle we have two women running, a businessman/reality T.V. host (I bet you can’t guess who this is), a socialist (democratic socialist, if we are getting technical), as well as some familiar faces and names from the political field.


Growing up my whole life in Coppell, I know the local political climate pretty well. I also know that in the past, fellow students lack of knowledge of politics and current events can be startling, to say the least. To their credit, there was not an urgent need for them to know that type of information. But now that we are representing our country’s voice and actions, it is time that we start paying attention to politics. We need to decide for ourselves who we think will help improve ourselves and our country for years to come.


With that said, I decided to ask some of my peers the names of the candidates they know are running from either party. In some senses, the results were exactly what I was expecting. In other cases though, the results tell an interesting tale of the candidate’s electability amongst an often overlooked age group by the media.


In the now very small Democratic field, the results were about what I expected. The party’s current frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, was a familiar name to all 24 Coppell High School seniors that were polled. Bernie Sanders, the socialist underdog came in a close second, with 21 out of 24 students recognizing his name. Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland, was the least recognized name of the three democratic candidates, with only seven knowing his name.


Much like the party itself, the Republican candidates name recognition was a lot more divided, and in some cases surprising.


Businessman Donald Trump was a name known to all 24 students polled, not surprisingly. What did surprise me though was who came in second. It was not Trump’s closest opponent Ben Carson, but rather Jeb Bush, with 19 out of 24 students knowing him, despite the fact that he is only polling at 4% nationally and is struggling to win over the younger population.


Ben Carson tied for third with Marco Rubio, arguably the Sanders of the Republican party with his younger support base, with 15 students knowing their names. Senator Ted Cruz came in fourth right behind Carson with 14 students knowing his name. The rest of the party told a story of candidates struggling to connect with young adult voters, with even former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina not making double digits in my poll.


I think the media will be surprised by the impact that current high school seniors will have on this election, which is why everyone needs to vote, no matter who you are voting for. Along with voting, it is also important to educate yourself on the candidates and vote for who you truly think will help the people of America. The fact that every single person I polled knows Trump and Clinton worries me that these two will earn votes just for being Trump and Clinton, which is almost certainly the case already. Vote for Trump and Clinton because you agree with their ideas for America, not because of their name.


Whoever you vote for, educate yourself. Just because you hear their name a lot does not necessarily mean they will embody your personal views as president.