Sometimes it feels like the only people who are running for president are Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. These three, more than the others, are branded as popular culture figures. Why do we hear more about these politicians than the others?
Bernie Sanders has been getting a lot of attention lately, mainly by the outspoken millennial generation. They seem to be screaming from the rooftops “do you feel the Bern?” Bernie was a senator, congressman, and mayor and is now a presidential contender who has hit the ground running. His platform, which includes raising the minimum wage, pay equity for women workers and making college affordable for all, has made him a crowd favorite.
Or maybe we follow them because we may feel like we know them. For example, Hillary Clinton has a long history of being visible to the public eye. She’s not a stranger to voters in this 2016 presidential race. She went from being the first lady, to senator, to presidential candidate to secretary of state.
Donald Trump is in the same boat for being known to the public for decades. This presidential hopeful, on the other hand, is not known for his political side, but as a business man. So why is he so popular in this race? One of the main reasons for his massive attention from the media is his derogatory statements toward Mexicans, immigrants, women and Muslims. The media’s coverage of his loud, unapologetic and defiant comments could be the reason why his poll numbers keep going up and up.
But what about the rest of the candidates?
You may hear whispers about Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or other candidates this way…
And although we get to hear their names as a quick snapshot in popular media we don't really know anything else about their platform.
Here is a quick snapshot of other candidates
From the Democratic party:
O'Malley advocates for legislation that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. He believes “our country can be 100 percent powered by clean energy.” As governor, he passed legislation for wind farms and an increase in recycling. O’Malley advocates for reducing tuition costs for higher education and lowering student loans. He also supports same-sex couples right to wed. He says, “We are One Maryland.” O’Malley is also pro-abortion rights and opposes the death penalty.
For the Republican Party:
Ted Cruz is three years into his first term in the Senate. In his first year in the Senate, Cruz immediately became involved in legislation, speaking on the Senate floor. Cruz has become a rather loud conservative voice on a number of policy issues. He has led the charge for the conservative movement on topics ranging from stopping Obamacare, to expanding energy production, to fighting gun control, to opposing debt limit increases to opposing amnesty.
“From the onset, Rubio was considered a Tea Party darling, a conservative lion, and a gifted orator.” Rubio has been a strong conservative voice in the Senate. He has been a reliable vote on defunding Obamacare, opposing debt ceiling increases and opposing gun control. He is also one of the strongest pro-life and traditional marriage advocates. As a senator, Rubio has consistently supported pro-growth tax and entitlement reforms, spending cuts, and a strong free trade agenda.
Most popularly known as the younger brother of the 43rd president, George W. Bush, Jeb has attempted to try to make a name for himself not just as a Bush. He has been an outspoken supporter for Common Core education standards and an adamant proponent of amnesty. Under Bush, total Florida state spending increased $45.6 billion to $61.6 billion -- a 35 percent increase. Florida’s state debt also increased from $16.8 billion to $24.1 billion. Once opposed to gay adoption and a proponent of a state-level ban on gay marriage, Bush now supports federal court decisions overruling state rights’ in defining marriage laws. Bush has become an advocate for increasing government spending on child welfare services, expressed an openness to tax increases, and pushed for one-size-fits-all Common Core standards.
Dr. Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, so unlike most other presidential candidates, he does not come from a highly political background. This leaves conservatives quite confused about his policies especially when he makes ambiguous public statements. What we do know about him is that he has a strong basis in Christian theology and his most defined issues are education, healthcare and entitlements, the Second Amendment and moral issues. He is pro-life and a strong defender of traditional marriage. On health care and Obamacare, Dr. Carson called the law “the worst thing ever to happen to America.” In terms of gun policy, Dr. Carson has stated that the right to bear arms is meant to protect citizens from a government that may try to institute tyranny. Carson has opposed illegal immigration and called for a system to ensure only legal immigrants are hired.
Chris Christie in the past has supported President Obama’s attack on the coal industry and government mandates in the energy market. Christie has been a consistent supporter of gun control and amnesty, even pro-actively signing a state-level version of the DREAM Act. He also expanded Medicaid in New Jersey, a key component of Obamacare.He was previously pro-choice, but has run and won as a pro-life candidate and has since then converted. Since Christie served as governor, it is expected that his experience in foreign policy is very slim. As Governor, Christie was able to cut some spending; overall spending under Christie increased by 16 percent.
Carly Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and was the 2010 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in California. Fiorina lacks political experience but uses her life experience as CEO to defend her qualification for the presidency to gain credibility from her followers.She has talked about crushing national debt in vague terms but has yet to offer specific solutions. She has also stayed silent on most civil rights issues. While she claims to oppose amnesty, Fiorina supports other immigration positions, including the DREAM Act and has refused to say whether or not she supports a path to citizenship or amnesty. As most conservatives have defined the traditional marriage as one between a man and a woman, Fiorina has avoided defining marriage and supports government benefits for same-sex couples.
John R. Kasich has served as governor of Ohio since January 2011. Kasich is familiar with presidential campaigns, having run for president in 2000. In 1994, Newt Gingrich put Kasich in charge of budgetary matters. It was due to Kasich’s leadership that the historic budget deal with Bill Clinton was achieved. Kasich not only helped implement Obamacare by expanding his state’s Medicaid system, he has fought conservatives tooth and nail to do so. He has also expanded numerous other entitlement programs across the board.Kasich has backed away from fighting on key moral and immigration issues. He has resigned himself to the fact that gay marriage has been made legal by the Supreme Court’s ruling. He has also stated that a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants is necessary. John Kasich has been seen as the most moderate Republican in this race.