2016 Presidential Election Season Is Underway

Story by Ty Smith, The Saint Reporter          

Photo courtesy of YouTube

It’s officially Fall and that means it’s almost a year until Election Day. That also means that the election season has been building itself up for almost an entire year already. It’s set out to be a particularly interesting election season, too, and not just because both parties have a real choice between their candidates this year.

In the Republican sphere of things, this year has been turning out to be one of the most competitive and surprising election cycles in recent history. With the sheer amount of candidates participating in the race for the Republican nomination, paying attention to everything going on regarding the Republican Primaries has been nearly impossible. Recent polls put Donald Trump at the head of the pack, with 21 percent in favor of him receiving the Republican nomination; however, Trump now seems to have some competition. Ben Carson, another political newcomer and a former neurosurgeon from Detroit, is pushing right up behind Trump with 20 percent in favor of him receiving the nomination. Tied for third place is the former HP business executive Carly Fiorina and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, each bringing in about 11 percent in favor of them receiving the Republican nomination.

This is all in stark contrast to the rest of the race for the Republican nomination, which has largely been Trump and the rest. The billionaire, who has never before held political office, has been surging ahead in the polls, striking a chord with voters with his no-nonsense and anti-politically correct way of debating. Most polls to this date has shown Trump ahead with a strong lead in the Republican nomination, while all the rest of the candidates are trailing behind by five or more points. Ben Carson has been seeing a surge in support as the backlash against Donald Trump increases, and Carly Fiorina is enjoying a surge in support after an extremely successful performance in a televised debate. Prior to the September 16 debate, Fiorina barely registered on most polls.

Meanwhile, the race for the Democratic nomination has seen an upset–something unforeseen even five months ago. While Hillary Clinton still leads the latest polls with 42 percent in favor of her receiving the Democratic nomination, this is a far cry from her overwhelming support from previous months. Back in June, Clinton held a 60-point lead over the second place candidate, Bernie Sanders, with 75 percent in support of Clinton versus 15 percent in support of Sanders. And in July, she still held a 34-point lead over Sanders, 59 percent to his 25 percent. However, due to overwhelming support for Sanders in the form of the youth vote, and Clinton being mired in an email scandal, she has seen an unprecedented loss of support, dropping 33 points in a matter of two months.

In addition to those worries, Vice President Joe Biden has been considering throwing his hat into the ring and making a real attempt at securing the Democratic nomination. When polls include him, he draws his supporters from Clinton’s base, dropping her numbers even lower while Sander’s numbers are barely affected. It seems that there’s a real chance he might give the race for nomination a shot, as groups in favor of Biden running for president are hiring paid staff in about a dozen crucial primary states.

Whatever your political orientation, it’s undeniable that next year’s election will be different from previous years, with fourteen Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination, and an upset in the Democratic party changing expectations left and right. There’s no telling who will be on the ballot come November 2016 , but maybe that’s a good thing.

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