Silly Season Elections


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Republican Candidates (Top 5):

  1. Donald Trump: Currently leading in the Republican polls, Donald Trump is very focused on one thing: immigration reform. So focused, in fact, that it is the only issue on which he mentions his position on his website. Trump says that he intends to triple the amount of security on the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay to construct a wall along its length. He wants to get rid of birthright citizenship and institute a policy of automatic deportation for any illegal immigrants. Trump has no political experience, but is quite famous in the U.S. for being a ‘self-made businessman,’ despite the fact that he inherited millions of dollars from his father.
  2. Ben Carson: Ben Carson’s views are mostly those of a standard Republican. Should he become president, he would get rid of abortion, common core education standards, the Affordable Care Act (also known as ‘Obamacare’), and gun control laws. He would keep detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay open and make gay marriage illegal. He has also stated he would like to establish a balanced budget amendment, restricting government spending to the amount it collects in taxes. Ben Carson also has no history in political office, but spent much of his life as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins.
  3. Jeb Bush: Despite having a political background in both family and office, Jeb Bush still lags behind in third place in the Republican polls. Bush has stated that one of his highest priorities is education reform, including widening options for primary and secondary schools and increasing school accountability. He has not given a clear statement on the Common Core curriculum. Bush is conservative when it comes to immigration, but he is no Donald Trump. He believes the US should make it more difficult to become a citizen  and require immigrants to work but not receive government benefits.
  4. Ted Cruz: Most famous for his 21-hour filibuster against the Affordable Care Act that contained a story for his daughters (and resulted in the 16-day government shutdown back in September 2013), Cruz has a strong political background as a senator representing Texas since 2013 (with a term ending in 2018). In order to strengthen  the economy, Cruz would like to repeal limits on fossil fuels and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, he would like to increase the defense budget and end the nuclear deal with Iran. He is also against abortion and gay marriage.
  5. Marco Rubio: Originally a Florida senator, Marco Rubio is a man of Cuban descent with a strong belief in the American dream. He doesn’t believe in fossil fuel restrictions, cuts in defense funding, abortion, or gay marriage. Some notable elements of Rubio’s platform are on net neutrality and student loans. He does not want to provide government-subsidized financial aid for higher education, but instead intends to create a program in which students learn about the costs of college so that they are informed about the realities of student loans. He would also like to stop government regulation of internet providers. This includes getting rid of net neutrality, which would allow internet providers to prioritize certain websites over others (most likely determined by who pays a fee to the provider).

Democratic Presidential Candidates:

  1. Hillary Clinton: Possibly in the position to make history as the first woman president, the former Secretary of State is the top-polling Democrat. She believes the government must support working-class Americans by increasing the minimum wage. She would also like to make college more affordable and break up large banks, which she says have enough power to single-handedly crash the economy.
  2. Bernie Sanders: Sanders has represented Vermont for 16 years, making him the longest serving Independent senator. He is the the only candidate on this list whose website addresses racial inequality, stating that he would like to take input from leaders of movements  like Black Lives Matter.  He has also talked about income inequality, and has plans that go beyond just raising the minimum wage. The most unique thing about Sanders is that he wants to take big money out of politics. He takes this belief to heart by being the only candidate in the 2016 election to not have a Super PAC. A Super PAC is an organization that allows candidates to receive donations above the legal limit of $2,700. Super PACs have been widely criticised for acting as a loophole around legal campaign donation limits and the ability to make undisclosed donations.
  3. Joe Biden: While not technically running yet, Biden is ranked third is the Democratic polls. The Democratic world already knows Biden as the vice president under Obama, and although his campaign is currently just a rumor, he is polling at about 18% according to Real Clear Politics.
  4. Martin O’Malley:  Despite having very similar ideas to other Democratic primary candidates, O’Malley is currently polling at about 2%. He has the common ideas of women’s rights, higher minimum wage, breaking up big banks, more inclusive laws surrounding immigration, as well as making higher-level education more affordable. Some things that set O’Malley apart from other candidates are his takes on national security and climate change. He believes a strong economy is more important than any war and in the long run will make us a more secure nation. In addition to this he would like to make jobs from renewable energy, instead of the more common approach of creating laws that limit use of fossil fuels.