Presidential Election 2016: Republican Candidates Rundown

Featured image courtesy of Luke Vargas/TRNS

With the 2016 presidential election just over a year away, the fight for the Republican nomination has been well-publicized. And while the Democratic primary looks to be a two-way race (possibly three, depending on Vice President Joe Biden’s declaration of candidacy) between frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT), the Republican primary is still muddled. Real estate mogul and Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump is currently polling higher than the rest of his competitors, but some analysts believe he will eventually be overtaken by a more proven politician like Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. Since there seems to be a surplus of candidates, I’ll give a brief rundown of the top three polling candidates.

Donald Trump

Without a doubt the most outspoken of the candidates, Trump has rapidly gained support from conservatives who believe he will “make America great again.” Trump, who has no previous political experience, has recently come under fire for suggestive comments toward Megyn Kelly, the Fox News anchor who moderated the first debate. Nonetheless, Trump has seemingly lit a fire beneath a cohort of conservatives who were struggling to differentiate between the other candidates. His stances have upset many more centrist republicans by lurching even further right, with his recent promise to revoke citizenships and deport children of undocumented immigrants inciting fierce debate. Many political analysts expect the real estate tycoon to regress in the polls after the immediate excitement has died out, but as of now, he’s still holding on to the top spot.

Jeb Bush

AP

AP

Once believed to have been the clear frontrunner of this race, Jeb Bush has been quickly surpassed by Trump. The son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of President George W. Bush, Jeb has faced heavy criticism from both liberals and conservatives who don’t want to see one family establish what could be seen as a political dynasty (the same has been said about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton). The former governor of Florida, while not as conservative as some political rivals (namely Ted Cruz), is still polling second behind Trump. Some political experts are still predicting Bush to recover, but it’s tough to predict at this point in time.

Scott Walker

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters

Walker, who was originally seen as the primary competitor against Bush, is the current governor of Wisconsin. Despite high hopes, he has begun to fade in the polls after a relatively lackluster performance in the first debate. Like many of his fellow candidates, Walker has focused much of his campaign on repealing the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare. His other key policies centre around promoting ‘family values’ by adding a constitutional amendment to nullify the recent gay marriage ruling and strengthening bans on abortion. He also wishes to defend the Second Amendment, proudly proclaiming in a letter that he has a ‘A+ rating with the NRA’. Despite falling behind Trump and Bush as of late, Walker should be able to perform better in the next debates, and possibly this will be reflected in the polls.

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