Candidates for the upcoming presidential election on Nov. 2 are dependent on the results of presidential primary elections, held at the state level to determine which candidate will win the party nomination.
Primary elections in the United States developed from a reform movement to supply more power to citizens in determining candidates for each political party. Registered voters choose the candidate for the party’s nomination through secret ballot, as the general election that will occur on Nov. 2. The presidential primary election for for both Democrats and Republicans in California will be held on March 2.
California is holding a modified closed primary, which means voters can only select a candidate from the party under which they are registered. Candidates for the Democratic Party come from various backgrounds and have been involved in campaigning for the primary elections for the last several months.
General Wesley Clark, who graduated first in his class from West Point in 1966, has projects envisioned for America that are based on long-term growth. He wants to supply universal health care access, invest in education, protect civil liberties and rights, promote a healthy environment and restore American integrity in the eyes of other nations.
Howard Dean, originally from New York and the ex-governor of Vermont, supports affirmative action, gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion. He wants to supply universal access to health care for all Americans. His stance on the death penalty is one that demands ‘scrupulous fairness.’ Dean thinks the death penalty should apply in extreme cases such as terrorism or homicide involving police officers or young children, but also feels it has been abused in the past by ruling administration and wants to implement heavier monitorization of capital punishment.
Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut wants to improve the quality of health care, fight domestic violence and introduce a tax fairness plan and an immigration reform. Lieberman quotes President Clinton on his stance on abortion, saying he wants to keep it ‘safe, legal and rare’ by supporting abortion in cases of rape and endangered health of the mother but limiting it by requiring notification of intent to abort pregnancy. Lieberman also supports the death penalty.
Carol Moseley Braun
Carol Moseley Braun of Chicago, Ill. is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. Moseley Braun also emphasizes the importance of education by supporting the elimination of restrictions on education funds so that more money can be spent on building and on technology for schools. She also strives for social equality between men and women and wants to outlaw capital punishment and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Senator John Edwards promises to strengthen the public school system as well as domestic defense.He wants to offer a free year of instruction at a public university to students who work 10 or more hours per week. As far as gun control is concerned, Edwards supports gun ownership as a Second Amendment right but also advocates restrictions on gun possession.