Politicians battle for presidential candidacy

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Sydney Tran, staff writer

Illustration by: Becky L.
Illustration by: Becky L.

With candidates ranging from politically-established Hillary Clinton to former Comedy Central roastee Donald Trump to socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, the 2016 presidential primaries are highly anticipated.

For those of you interested in politics or who will be able to vote in 2016, here’s my take on the leading poll candidates:

Republicans

As the election process approaches the primary stages, the potential GOP candidate is a big topic of discussion.

Donald Trump, one of the most celebrated and notorious candidates, has been consistently leading in polls. He is currently polling at 24 percent with a nine percent margin between him and competition Jeb Bush.

An avid Twitter user and loud border control enthusiast, Trump and his general success in polls are areas of controversy. Trump, who has been threatening to run for president nearly every four years since 1988, has finally entered the presidential race and has been a huge point of debate. While raking in poll votes, Trump still faces immense opposition due to the fact that his candidacy has been shrouded by scandal as of late. His strong opinions are polarizing within the Republican Party and among the rest of the population. From his outright disrespect of Rosie O’Donnell at a Fox News GOP debate to allegations of sexual abuse made by his ex-wife, Trump seems unfit to lead the country.

As a man who is perceived by many as divisive and offensive, Trump’s campaign is facing skepticism as to its genuineness. His opposers find the overall support for Trump alarming. His statements and opinions are so outrageous that it’s hard to determine whether or not his substantial support is a joke.

The next leading Republican candidate, according to Public Policy Polling, is Jeb Bush. Bush is also surrounded by controversy. The cause of this controversy can be partially attributed to his familial relationships to former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Bush is unfairly judged as a candidate. He gets a bad rep due to both disagreement with his ideas and politics, and to his birth. If you don’t support him, make sure it’s because you don’t agree with his policies, not just because you think his brother is an idiot.

Democrats

On the other end of the political spectrum stand the Democratic candidates. There are two politicians who are leading the polls by huge margin: former first lady, senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders..

Clinton is a strong candidate. Her campaign is receiving a large amount of support, and she has decades of experience as a politician behind her. However, as with every other female candidate, sexism comes into question during her campaign. Oftentimes, Clinton’s hair is discussed rather than her policies, which is telling of the apparent sexism embedded in our society.

Despite her myriad experience, Clinton is yet another polarizing candidate, especially after her association with a private email server scandal. Her opposition yields way for other candidates to gain support.

Although Clinton held an early lead in polls, Sanders has recently been gaining on her. Rallying 42 percent support in a New Hampshire poll distributed by Public Policy Polling, Sanders is growing in popularity for the Democratic primary contest. Clinton held 35 percent Democratic support in the state.

Sanders is viewed as a radical leftist due to his self-identification as a  democratic socialist, however. This attributed extremism may cause opposition in a society that still has prominent fears of communism and socialism tracing back to the Red Scare.

Despite appearances, Sanders’ plan for his potential presidency is more moderate than it appears, though definitely still liberal.

Like any other candidate, Sanders also faces criticism from members of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement. Two activists recently shut down a rally at which Sanders was speaking in Seattle.

However, Sanders responded to this shutdown by releasing a statement in which he said that he “was especially disappointed because on criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism, there is no other candidate for president who will fight harder than me.”
The variety of candidates from which to choose to support is broad. The events of this presidency will affect the America that we live in. If you’re voting or supporting a campaign, base your choice, not on who is the funniest or most famous, but on who will create the best future for this generation.

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