On Monday, students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia witnessed Senator Ted Cruz announce his presidential bid for 2016.
Cruz became the first Republican to enter the upcoming presidential race. He is considered a far right-wing candidate because of his views on limited government, Christianity and the Constitution.
During his announcement, Cruz urged the crowd to envision a government without the IRS, Affordable Healthcare Act and Common Core education standards.
Though students at Liberty University showed support for Cruz’s presidential nomination, students and faculty at UM shared different views on Cruz’s likelihood to succeed in the race.
“I think he’s a real long shot to get the nomination for the Republican party,” said Gregory Koger, associate professor of political science who teaches courses in American politics. “While he’s been in the Senate, his plan for running for president has been to try and portray himself as the only true conservative.”
Koger says that though Cruz’s decision doesn’t surprise him, he believes that it was done prematurely.
The president of UM Young Democrats, Ishtpreet Singh, thinks the nation deserves a president who will not shut down the government because his party is not getting their way.
“I assume the American people would want someone who says, ‘Look, we have our differences, but we still need to be on a path to find our common ground,’” Singh said.
Still, Chris Dalton, president of the UM College Republicans says he and the rest of the organization look forward to the 2016 presidential election.
“Cruz’s announcement has excited our club, and we look forward to following Senator Cruz’s campaign as well as keeping an eye out for other potential republican politicians who may throw their hat into the ring,” he said.
Whether or not Cruz will get the nomination from the Republican party, Koger and Singh encourage students to follow the campaign and be active in the political process.