With the primaries far off into the future, expectations for the 2016 Presidential Election are off to an interesting start. While there have always been ill-fated also-rans in past presidential elections, the 2016 hopefuls really do seem to be making it anybody’s game.
Republican frontrunners Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are peeved at each other and it’s beginning to show in their campaign tactics. Trump is leading in the polls at present and has had no qualms about criticizing and attacking fellow candidates, especially Jeb Bush. While Republicans had originally dismissed Trump as a serious candidate, his growing popularity has forced them to reconsider their tactics regarding the billionaire’s campaign.
Bush began campaigning without any serious consideration of Trump—that is until Trump began to cost the Republican party and Bush their popularity. Trump’s strikes at Bush have instigated an assault on both Trump and Hillary Clinton, who is still leading in Democratic polls. Bush reportedly hired an airplane to run a banner which read, “Trump 4 Higher Taxes, Jeb 4 Prez” and sent emails comparing Trump’s record to that of Clinton’s, referencing her 2008 scandal regarding her private server for emails. While Trump has made many attacks on Bush, the latest is over a failed photoshop on one of his promotional leaflets.
Donald Trump has been criticized, yet again, for appearing to take on a more (Bernie) Sanders-like and liberal stance on the economy, saying that “hedge fund guys” aren’t paying their dues. “They are paying nothing. And it’s ridiculous,” says Trump. This stand could hurt Trump and lead to accusations of an inconstant candidacy. These criticisms would also be among the extant criticisms of his ambiguous plans on tackling immigration reform and his unconstitutional plans for denying citizenship to “anchor babies.”
Meanwhile, the youngest candidate in either field, Marco Rubio, has been referencing a déjà vu in today’s politics. He has been urging for a newer and fresher name for office, although the junior senator is blasted about his lack of experience. Rubio, who started in the Florida House of Representatives in 2000 and moved to be Speaker of Florida House in 2005, has only served one term as a junior senator in Florida. Some expect Rubio to become Bush’s running mate for the 2016 election.
The top-running candidate for the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, is battling lagging poll numbers and a resurgence of criticism from her controversial actions regarding using a private server for official emails back in 2008. Both Clinton and Bush are expected to be the top dogs of the 2016 presidential election and are likely to go head-to-head as the Democratic and Republican nominees, respectively. However, Clinton has yet to gain popularity in the polls.
Bernie Sanders’s numbers, on the other hand, are burgeoning. Sanders is an Independent running for the 2016 office as a Democrat. Sanders’s campaign, much like Trump’s, was not expected to last as long as it has, let alone gain momentum. Sanders is second in popularity among the Democratic candidates and is very much to the left of his peers. His disdain for political attack antics were applauded this week when he refused to directly attack candidate Hillary Clinton. However, his campaign faces the challenge of appealing to the more conservative Southern Democrats. A majority of Southern Democrats are identified as Black Americans and experts only expect Sanders to propel himself to the White House with the help of this demographic.
Sanders’s candidacy has been pushing the Democratic party further to the left and could continue to push them the longer he remains in the race.
Of course, the news everyone is awaiting is whether or not Vice President Joe Biden will run in 2016. While there has been much speculation about whether or not Biden will run, as of now there is no official decision. However, Biden’s meeting with Senator Elizabeth Warren has lead to speculation that the current VP could run for the presidency in 2016.
Warren is an influential Democratic delegate and Biden’s meeting with her could mean that he is seriously considering running, as support from powerful delegates can influence party nominees. If Biden were to run, polls indicate that he would have a significant following. Currently, a poll by Bloomberg shows that Biden’s approval would outdo Trump’s approval in key swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Many feel that Biden’s and other Democratic candidates’ opposition to Clinton could challenge her enough to make her a stronger candidate. Though the presidential race is still in its early stages, there have been quite a few surprises and disappointments in what will likely turn into a political marathon.