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Learning More about the Presidential Candidates – Just in Case

Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States, via Wikimedia Commons

The primary election in Indiana is not until May, but already many people in Indiana have been researching the presidential candidates diligently (and less diligently) in order to find their preferred candidate. 

Many are showing their support for presidential candidates by putting up signs, affixing bumper stickers, attending virtual and real rallies, phone banking, and giving money.  Unfortunately, the reality is that our primary date in May makes it unlikely that we will be playing much of a role in who the nominees will be. 

This pessimistic view of Indiana’s role has to be tempered slightly.  People like G. Terry Madonna and Michael Young are writing about the possibility of a brokered convention.  Former Representative Bill Owens (D-NY) speculated in a blog on The Hill web site that Paul Ryan could be the winner if the Republican nomination if things are not decided before the Republican Convention.   If we are on our way to a brokered convention, then people in Indiana need to start getting ready for an exciting couple of months leading up to the May 3rd Indiana primary. 

We need to be able to have conversations with each other if we have any hope of successfully addressing the issues that need to be addressed.

  There are a number of ways to do that.  One is to listen to, read, and watch a variety of news sources with a variety of perspectives. 

WBOI and National Public Radio are good sources. 

Fort Wayne is lucky to have two daily newspaper still (Journal Gazette and News-Sentinel).  We need to take advantage of that.  It also is a good idea to read a paper with a broader coverage.  If you want to stay loyal to Indiana, then the Indy Star probably is the paper for you, but the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal deserve your attention as well. 

There are a number of television options.  While the nightly broadcasts are news programs, many of the programs on the cable stations and Sunday mornings are a mix of facts and opinions.   Some of these can be watched online.

On-line sources have grown in their importance.  Realclearpolitics.com is full of interesting data and insight.  If you are more interested in fact checking what the candidates are saying, then you should visit factcheck.org

Finally, you should look for a source or two from outside of the United States.  These sources will provide a perspective that is different from what you will find in the United States.  One that is easy to find is the BBC.  You can hear from the BBC on WBOI as well as see it on television even if you do not have cable or satellite service. 

Another way to get ready for those exciting months is to talk with your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and others.  I know many people say that they do not discuss politics with family and friends.  There are times when that is a good course of action, but we need to be able to have conversations with each other if we have any hope of successfully addressing the issues that need to be addressed.  

After all of this, if you still do not know who you want to support, you are in luck,  Project Vote Smart has a tool for helping you find your candidate.  USA Today also has a matching game quizIsidewith.com is a well-known quiz

After you know who you want to support, you can visit 270towin.com to plot a path to victory in the Electoral College. 

Here is to an exciting couple of months, or not, depending on how all of the other primaries and caucuses go before Indiana’s. 

Andrew Downs is Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW.

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff, management or board of Northeast Indiana Public Radio. If you want to join the conversation, go to our Facebook page and comment on the post featuring this column.

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