April 11

A Realistic View of 2016

It is one of the most exciting times for us Americans: the presidential elections. These elections are like the Super Bowl of politics, everyone gets on a team and roots for them all the way to the end. So, before it even gets started, before we get polls and ratings and campaign heat, let’s look at each candidate, so far, and their real potential to win the Oval Office.

First and foremost, Senator Ted Cruz. It is really not a surprise that this candidate was the first to so boldly announce he would run. Since his election to the senate just two years ago, he quickly rose to one of the most talked about senators for the Republican party. He is very steadfast in his beliefs, which are grounded on christian conservative values. Cruz also did not care if the government shutdown, because he was willing to do anything to defund Obamacare. More importantly, Cruz has a very effective grassroots approach to campaigning. He has a huge, very loyal following, and is gathering support through calling on “courageous conservatives,” to further his cause. There will be lots of fire behind Cruz, but he might be too far to the right to win the vote of the entire party.

Second, Senator Rand Paul. Like Cruz, Paul is also young in the senate, and rose to prominence over a filibuster regarding drone attacks on Americans. This candidate is all about reform. His campaign strategy is to take “down the Washington Machine, unleash the American dream.”He can point to clear examples of how he is attacking the federal government agencies, demanding transparency. Paul wants to audit the fed, reduce taxes, and reform the growing government. Furthermore, Paul has the interest of Silicon Vally billionaires, a different voting base than most Republicans. He is also the only candidate to really reach out to minority voters, and invite them into the Republican party. It will be interesting, however, to see if he can take this star power all the way through the blistering primaries. He will have to convince his base along with those on the fence that he will be the one to actually not be manipulated by power, and truthfully reform big government in DC.

Third, Senator Marco Rubio. Insider sources have said that Rubio is being pushed by conservative donors such as the Koch brothers, and two years ago it seemed like he would be the candidate to win the hispanic vote. After a disastrous immigration bill, however, Rubio lost his edge and is trying to get it back through a strong foreign policy agenda. Another young senator, Rubio may not have the same national presence as his colleagues to win the primary, and his background has two many question marks in the senate to push through the attack ads that will come against him.

Fourth, Governor Jeb Bush. Bush has the political base, he has the important voting state of Florida, but his worse asset is his family name. While he will have the hispanic vote, Bush unfortunately has a brother who was just president, and he will be pinned as another Bush in the White House. This base, however, may give Bush enough political donors and a strong foundation to effectively go through the primary to be a strong candidate against Hillary Clinton (let’s be real, she will obviously be the Democrat nominee). As everyone knows, the GOP primary often leaves the candidate bruised, and the Democrats take advantage of those bruises to show the inconsistency in the candidate. Bush held his own at CPAC, and seems to have a clear agenda. His “right to rise,” focuses on the economy, and he is giving clear examples of how that will turn around if he is president. As the economy was the number one issue for the November 2014 elections, this might be his winning edge.

Fifth, Governor Scott Walker. This candidate is the wild card. While he does not have a huge presence on the national stage, he is truly an everyman’s man. He has a strong personal success story, and has turned a normally blue state red. Walker may just surprise everyone, or he may fade into the distance.

This leaves other maybes, such as Governor Christie, Governor Romney, and of course Donald Trump. The race is just getting started, but as it unfolds, it is important to remember how it starts.