Political Candidate Round Up

Photo Credit/ Pixabay

Photo Credit/ Pixabay

Hannah Wavrek, Sports Editor

Okay, so this is it. The first caucus to kick off the primary presidential election just took place in Iowa, starting crunch time for the fifteen presidential hopefuls.

The candidates have all been campaigning since late last year to win their spot for either the Republican or Democratic party. The primary elections are important because if the candidate wins, they will represent their party as they compete for the presidential election this November.

This campaign season has been dubbed as abnormal; mainly due to Donald Trump, a billionaire with no experience leading in the polls and the unprecedented number of people vying for the nomination.

There are three democrats and twelve republicans in the running.  With fifteen people fighting to become president, it can be hard to keep an eye on all of them at once.

Hopefully, this quick guide will help differentiate the candidates and put all the political hopefuls in perspective.

First, the Republicans:

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush has served as the Governor of Florida.  If he wins the presidential race, he will be the third Bush to take office alongside his father and brother. Bush’s wife is from Mexico. He argues against other Republicans in his belief that deporting illegal immigrants (mostly from Mexico) is unrealistic.  It will be interesting to see if the Bush ties to the swing states will be an advantage for him.

Ben Carson
As a retired neurosurgeon, most of the beliefs Carson has outlined are related to healthcare. He has promised to immediately repeal the Obama Affordable Care Act if he is elected. On the rest of the “hot topic” issues, he holds a traditional and conservative view-point.  During the past few years, he has been prone to inflammatory language and controversial statements, which has gotten him into trouble with the media. His second place lead in the polls has dwindled significantly over the past three months.

Chris Christie
Christie is the current governor of New Jersey.  He is blunt with his rhetoric, actions, and views.  For example, he has fought to defend gun owners rights, even though most of the country wants more gun control.  His “tell it like it is” personality and attachment to businessmen and commercial following will win him most of his voters. However, if he wants to win, he will have to expand his following.

Ted Cruz
Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz is big and bold, just like his state. As the most conservative Republican in the running, he has opposite perspectives on everything that democrats have accomplished in the past eight years. As an Evangelical, he wants to change Obama healthcare and turn away liberal ideas.  Although he wants to go one-on-one with whomever is the Republican leader, he may be too far to the “right” for republican voters and lose out to other nominees later in the election. It is a well-known fact that he isn’t liked by main-stream politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Carly Fiorina
As the only Republican woman in the running, Carly Fiorina is a businesswomen and past chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.  Her confident attitude has yet to bring her a solid following, but she does deliver in the debates and on the trail.  Fiorina supports a more aggressive American military.  She opposes abortion rights, but is supportive of same-sex marriage.

Jim Gilmore
One of the nominees in the background is Jim Gilmore. He’s been sidelined by nearly every main republican debate because of low poll numbers, and now nobody is quite sure why he is in the running.  He does not have the money or backing of his opponents and has not been involved with major politics since he ended his term as Virginia Governor in 2002.

Mike Huckabee
A former baptist pastor and former Governor of Arkansas, the conservative Mike Huckabee stands a chance to win the republican nomination with the votes of religious conservatives. His platform is geared towards older, working-class citizens, as he vows to protect Social Security and Medicare.

John Kasich
Current Governor of Ohio, John Kaish is near the bottom of the list. He is not well liked because of his work expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. To Republican voters, he is too involved with Obama and he tends to lean too left.

Rand Paul
Son of U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas and current Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul will rely on his father’s supporters and a few random and smaller groups of voters, especially the Libertarian party. He has criticized not only Obama but other Republicans because he believes the government should not be tracking peoples cell phone activity. To win, he would have to have enough minority voting groups come together to beat his opponents.

Marco Rubio
A poised speaker with a positive message, Marco Rubio is the new and fresh Republican on the scene. This, combined with his Cuban background is appealing to voters. He is positioning himself as the mainstream Republican who is unlike the top two condenders: Cruz and Trump. However, he has yet to maintain a lead in the polls.

Rick Santorum
Underdog Rick Santorum is a former Governor of Pennsylvania. His goal is to convince working class America that he will protect them because he is a “new kind of Republican.” His views include opposing abortion rights and same sex marriage.

Donald Trump
Ah finally, Donald Trump—the real estate developer and host of reality show “Apprentice” that has decided he is the best choice for the presidential nomination. With outlandish ideas like building a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants and racist remarks, he is a wacky choice to vote for.  However, he is leading the polls because of the support from nationalistic republicans and blue collar workers who believe that America needs to stand up to other nations. He appeals to the fear and anger in voters.

It’s a lot to take in.  With this many Republicans in the running, the views vary in both directions from the classic Republican agenda that most voters are used to.

Now, the Democrats:

Hilary Clinton
Former First Lady and former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton strives to gain the votes of 2008 and 2012 Obama supporters.  She will use her experiences as a mother and grandmother to try to persuade them she is the best candidate to change income inequality and to aid the middle class.  Hilary will also empathize with women as she supports paid family leave, early education, and affordable child care.  However, her recent email actions and her career in politics make her an untrustworthy candidate to many Democrats.

Martin O’ Malley
Former Governor of Maryland, O’ Malley is a Democrat that is in opposition to some of Obama’s actions. In the presidential race, he is far behind Clinton and Sanders, but he is using his youth to his advantage, which is something the others don’t have. It appears that he has been as focused on highlighting his looks, playing guitar in bars and posing for selfies on college campuses as discussing political issues so far.

Bernie Sanders
Junior U.S. Senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders appeals mostly to young people. With sweeping reform and movements for free community college and healthcare, his socialist views do not resinate with older voters, who will have to pay an increased tax to make this happen.

The 2016 presidential race will be a historic one no matter the outcome. With hopefuls at the far left and far right and with few in the middle, this vote could be the most important yet.



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