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First-time Indiana voters weigh in on the race for the White House

First-time Indiana voters weigh in on Decision 2016 so far, and local political analysts discuss what role the state will play in this year's election.
Taylor Carpenter, UIndy freshman

Traditionally, Indiana has been more of an afterthought in the primary process since our primary day falls so late on the calendar.

Will that be the case again this year? As usual, it depends on who you ask.

Democrats say, 'No,' and Republicans say, 'No,' but if you ask them to handicap the other party, the answers are a lot more interesting. And if you are asking a first-time voter, they certainly hope so.

It's certainly been a campaign to remember. Barbs have been flying back and forth on both sides of the political aisle. So we sat down with some students at the University of Indianapolis and asked what the memorable quotes from the campaign have been so far.

"'We are going to build a wall and Mexico will pay for it'," University of Indianapolis Freshman Taylor Carpenter remembers.

"Or what Trump did just this past week. He pulls out a water bottle and starts throwing water around. 'It's Rubio. What is happening now'," Sophomore Dominic Peretin demonstrated waving his arm back and forth as Trump did, spilling the water from a bottle toward the crowd.

"'The young women of the world are looking at this and saying, "Where are the boys?" The boys are with Bernie'," Freshman Daisy Gray reiterated.

"'Banning all Muslims from coming to America'," Tanner Steele a junior at the University of Indianapolis added.

Not the kind of debate these young students were expecting for their first Presidential election. They hope the parties will still be undecided when Indiana's primary hits on May 3.

Republican political analyst Jennifer Hallowell thinks they'll be disappointed, but admitted she's a pessimist about that subject.

Democrat Robin Winston believes the Democrats will have decided by then as well, but he also believes most of the GOP candidates are in it for the long-haul.

"The only way to prevent him from getting the nomination is to run competitive campaigns," Winston said. "You can't ignore Indiana, which is a very competitive state to them that has a republican governor and bypass that, so I believe they will be here," Winston said.

Both agree Hillary Clinton will most likely emerge with the Democratic nomination and both agree all the signs on the GOP side point to Donald Trump.

"Now that we are looking at Super Tuesday, he is polling strong in every state," Hallowell stated.

But for the young, first-time voter, they are just trying to sort it all out.

"I just wish we were talking about the issues in the debate. Yes. And that is what is so sad. Especially in this election. Everything is, 'What did Trump do? What did he say? What negative thing has he been saying all this time?' Where are the policy issues? Where are the issues we really need to be talking about? Where do you stand on these issues?" Freshman Taylor Carpenter lamented.

A lot can change by May 3, and most likely will. That all starts tomorrow on Super Tuesday.