In Focus

LET’S BE CANDID

GARRETT WALKER
IN FOCUS EDITOR

   In a word, the 2016 presidential election process can be described as “baffling.” Antiestablishment candidates entered the race, symbolizing voters’ discontent with politicians. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina dropped off, but Donald Trump remains untouchable.

   In addition, the parties have both been pulled to the extremes. According to
a Pew Research Center survey, America hasn’t been this polarized since the Civil War. Every day, the left and right move farther apart. We’re beginning to see the effects of this divide in the elections.

   This candidates’ provocative personalities have made the race more colorful than any in recent history. We compiled a list of the main candidates’ positions and poll numbers (as reported by CNN).

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Clinton

National Poll: 52%

   Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn’t had a great month. She lost an enormous lead in Iowa and New Hampshire to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. However, most project her to win the Democratic nomination. Clinton won favor for her pro-choice stance and belief in equal citizenship for immigrants. Many also see her as more electable than Sanders. She still has obstacles to climb, though; many criticize her for flip-flopping, she has ties to Wall Street, and her email scandal plagues her.

Bernie Sanders

National Poll: 38%

   Clinton hasn’t found a way to secure one important demographic: youth. That’s where Bernie Sanders receives a lot of his support. Sanders calls himself a “Democratic socialist;” he wants to impose very high taxes — upwards of 50 percent for the highest income group — and raise the minimum wage to $15. While Sanders has been praised for his uncompromising beliefs, some question his history on gun rights. Furthermore, many believe that he wouldn’t have much luck in the general election.

REPUBLICANS

Donald Trump

National Poll: 41%

   Donald Trump is unlike any other candidate in the race. As the primaries drew closer, he accumulated a huge (pronounced YUGE) lead. Inexplicably, his negative media attention proved invaluable. For the most part, Trump is a populist. He spent most of his career as a Democrat, but ran Republican, preaching xenophobia as he went. He believes in Tea Party fiscal policies, but wants to impose tariffs. His policies keep voters happy, but don’t work in Washington.

Ted Cruz

National Poll: 19%

   Trump may believe ardently in his ideas, but some are moderate. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, on the other
hand, is the most right-wing candidate in the race. He’s strongly Tea
Party, and believes in the states’ rights to decide laws. Nationally, he believes in the deportation of undocumented
immigrants, and proposed a flat tax.
But like Sanders, experts question whether he could win the
general election.

Marco Rubio

National Poll: 8%

   Senator Marco Rubio of Florida falls not far behind Cruz in the polls. Rubio was formerly a member of the Tea
Party, though he has since softened
his stance on immigration. He wants to confront foreign powers, supports
a two-tier tax plan, and dislikes
federal regulation of businesses. While he isn’t as extreme as Cruz, pundits
believe he’s still too conservative to
become president.

Photos courtesy of the candidates’ websites.

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