Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts won over Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina in the “Super Tuesday” primaries, virtually assuring his nomination as Democratic candidate for the November presidential election. Including California, he won nine of the 10 primaries held Tuesday.
In California, Kerry claimed a staggering victory with 64.5 percent of the votes over Edwards’ 19.8 percent. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich came in a distant third with 4.6 percent, while ex-candidate and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean received 4.3 percent.
As predicted, Kerry not only won a landslide victory in California, but in seven other states on Super Tuesday. He took 58 percent of the votes in Connecticut, 60 percent in Maryland and New York, 72 percent in his home state, Massachusetts, 51 percent in Minnesota, 52 percent in Ohio, and 71 percent in Rhode Island.
The only state in which Edwards was not overwhelmingly defeated was in Georgia where Kerry grabbed 46 percent of votes to Edwards’ 42 percent.
The big surprise of the night was Dean’s victory in his home state, Vermont, where he claimed 58 percent of the votes even though he was no longer a candidate.
The ten states combined equal just over half of the 2,162 delegates needed to officially claim the nomination. However, with Kerry currently holding 1,292 delegates, it is mathematically impossible for Edwards, or anyone else, to take the nomination from him.
“My campaign, our campaign, is about replacing doubt with hope, and replacing fear with security,” said Kerry.
Democrats and Independents in California also joined all other registered voters in deciding the fate of four propositions on the ballot, Propositions 55, 56, 57 and 58.
The closest battle of the four, Proposition 55, just nearly passed with only 50.6 percent of voters voting “yes.” The proposition will allow for a bond issue of $12.3 billion, rivaling the largest bond measure in the history of any American state, to be spent on rebuilding and repairing new and existing California public schools.
Proposition 56, which would have lowered to 55 percent the legislative votes needed on budget votes, lost decisively, with 65.9 percent voting “no.” It will still require a two-thirds vote to raise new taxes.
Propositions 57 and 58, both of which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fiercely advocated, passed with 57 tallying a 63.3 percent “yes” vote and 58 receiving 71 percent. The former authorizes the state to borrow up to $15 billion to balance the budget and the latter prohibits future borrowing to cover deficits.
On the GCC front, the Humanities and Social Science lecture series hosted a California Presidential Primary Election Panel the Thursday before the election in order to inform students about the election and each of the candidates in hopes to broaden the awareness of voting and non-voting students alike on campus.
Similarly, that night the Los Angeles Times and CNN hosted a live debate, broadcast from Bovard Auditorium at USC, among the four Democratic candidates, Kerry, Edwards, Kucinich and Rev. Al Sharpton.