It’s that time again! The 2016 Presidential elections are almost a year away and the candidates are already duking it out on both sides. Hot topics include same-sex marriage, religious freedom, abortion, taxes on the rich, immigration, and the Iran nuclear deal. This election season can already be characterized as heated with Donald Trump being the main actor in this show on the Republican side and his variety of controversial remarks. Hillary Clinton has also proved controversial on the Democratic side with her email scandal. Let’s explore both sides:
For the Republican Party we have a long list of candidates: Jeb Bush (Fla.), Ben Carson (Md.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Carly Fiorina (Va.), Jim Gilmore (Va.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Huckabee (Ark.), Bobby Jindal (La.), John Kasich (Ohio), George Pataki (N.Y.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rick Santorum (Pa.), Donald Trump (NY..), and Scott Walker (Wis.). Donald Trump has been leading in the polls at 30.5% with Ben Carson following in second at 20%. Trump has made several controversial statements concerning Mexicans and Mexican-Americans including immigrants being criminals and rapists, about building a wall at the border and demanding Jeb Bush speak English in America.
Trump has also made controversial statements about China, mocking Asian people by squinting his eyes. He has also made statements about women (Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina and Rosie O’Donnell) that many find offensive and sexist. Jeb Bush, at 7.8%, has faced flak for being related to Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and has seemingly been held accountable for the policies and actions of his father and brother. It remains to be seen who will be the candidate but many forecast it will be Trump, Carson, or Bush.
For the Democratic Party, the list of candidates is quite shorter: Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jim Webb (Va.), Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), and Martin O’Malley (Md.). Clinton has been leading at 44.7% with Sanders following in second at 23.3%. Clinton still faces controversy because of her email servers and Sanders is seemingly catching up while her campaign deals with the situation. Clinton more recently apologized for the controversy after a long period of not answering questions and not apologizing. Sanders, who identifies as a Democratic Socialist, has been popular with the liberal side of the Democratic Party but he has also faced controversy with the Black Lives Matter movement and there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to him and current racial issues.
Although the candidates have yet to be chosen, one can already tell this is going to be an interesting campaign. Who do you think will be the candidates on each side? Who do you think will be president? Email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For full disclosure, Tyler Vining is President of Campus Democrats. All polling numbers were pulled from realclearpolitics.com. They are the averaged percentages taken from several polls.
By Tyler Vinning