Voicing Opinions in Virginia

Manu at a polling place in Virginia on Super Tuesday
Manu at a polling place in Virginia on Super Tuesday

Manu at a polling place in Virginia on Super Tuesday, March 1

On March 1, Virginia and several other states participated in presidential primary elections and caucuses. The day is called Super Tuesday because so many states hold elections on that day. I traveled across Northern Virginia to find out what issues mattered the most to Virginians, and why Super Tuesday is such a big day in the race to the White House.

Chris Phillips, a former member of the United States Department of Defense and a supporter of Republican candidate Ben Carson, told me that he considers such issues as illegal immigration, national security, and the Armed Forces when choosing a presidential candidate.

“Securing the border is critical,” Phillips said. “National security is also of the utmost importance. So is restoring our military [because of budget cuts in recent years]. Just seeing the cuts that have happened in the past several years has been really frightening.”  

Other issues, such as giving everyone the chance to succeed, were also on voters’ minds. When asked which issues matter the most, one voter said, “Issues that represent human decency and human goodness."



The student view of the election was slightly different. Many students, such as Sammy, 13, are concerned about education and college affordability.

“Education is something that I care about, because I know that I’m going to college in a few years,” Sammy said. She also wants to see the immigration system reformed because she believes that everybody should have a chance to succeed.

Students and adults agreed about the importance of the primaries and caucuses. “Super Tuesday gives citizens the opportunity to express their opinion about who is the best candidate to run America,” said Tanvi, 13. “It allows people to fulfill their responsibility as a citizen.”

Michael Mitchell, the election officer at River Bend Middle School in Sterling, Virginia, said that Super Tuesday is important because it helps determine “who will be the next leader of our country.”

Other Virginians said that voting matters because it gives them the power to make a difference in their community.

In the Virginia primaries, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won on the Democratic side, and businessman Donald Trump won among Republicans. Both candidates also won a majority of states nationwide. Carson dropped out of the race after disappointing results.

The next state primaries and caucuses will be held on March 5.


Photo courtesy of the author