Update on the Presidential Race

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Update on the Presidential Race



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Brian Culligan, Writer

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Even with election day just under one year away, the tense political scene is evolving at a rate so rapid that many Americans find it difficult to keep up with the latest information. Amidst frequent debates, changes in poll rankings, drop-out announcements, and arising controversy, identifying with any one candidate is not a simple task. It is all too time consuming to sift through the vast expanse of lofty promises from those running, and keep track of what dirt has been dug up on who. To prevent this madness from causing students to throw up their hands and declare, “I’m not interested in politics”, MDO will be providing periodic updates with the highlights from our nation’s great race.

Both the republicans and the democrats have seen several cuts and additions to their list of presidential contenders. Here are the candidates currently in a competitive position in the race:


Donald Trump– Poll Ranking: 28%

Ben Carson- Poll Ranking: 23%

Marco Rubio– Poll Ranking 11%

Jeb Bush- Poll Ranking: 6%

Ted Cruz- Poll Ranking: 6%

Carly Fiorina- Poll Ranking: 3%

Rand Paul- Poll Ranking: 2%

John Kasich- Poll Ranking: 1%

Notable Dropouts: Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal

The firebrand front-runner Donald Trump remains outspoken as he continues his one-of-a-kind campaign for the presidency, yet he no longer seems to be the sole center of attention within the GOP. He put forth a weak effort at the most recent debate, as he could not support himself with the usual crutch of out of line put-downs, and was forced to discuss his actual ideas. These ideas prove outrageous in the eyes of most, involving the deportation of all illegal immigrants, the closing of mosques around the country in light of the recent attacks on Paris, and dramatic tax cuts. As Trump continues to let his loose lips fly, hatred towards him seems to grow, and his following seems to diminish, as they are unable to stay onboard with his radical views. It is unlikely that he will win the Republican nomination.

His fellow unorthodox candidate, Ben Carson, remains the runner-up in the GOP race, but has closed the gap with Trump by a remarkable 7%. His ability to assert strong values, while taking a more humble and soft-spoken approach to campaigning, has earned him popularity in the public eye. Along with his rise to the top comes increased scrutiny, however, as media has placed him under the gun for potentially misleading the public as to his criminal history. Many see him as unstable regarding plans for foreign policy and economic reform, and for this CNN gives him an 8% chance at winning the Republican primary.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both had impressive nights at the past two GOP debates, and as a result their popularities have been on the rise, and their young charismatic natures have had the ability to shine through. While Cruz has firm and economic ideas for the country, his social views are more controversial, involving the acceptance of only Christian Syrian refugees, not Muslims, into the US, and the opposition of same-sex marriage. Amidst this haze surrounding Cruz, Rubio has been able to stand out as the most radiant and hopeful Republican candidate. His hispanic background makes him more lenient regarding immigration issues, which seems to be widening his appeal. CNN gives Rubio a 47% chance of emerging as the Republican nominee, higher than any other candidate.  

Carly Fiorina’s name has become household over the past few weeks, as she has proved herself a legitimate contender within the GOP. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard is well-spoken and convincing as she smoothly delivers her intelligently structured plans for our country. She used the debates to demonstrate her decisive leadership qualities by laying out a tough foreign policy, and promising ideas for healthcare reform. With more time, she may be able to gain a following large enough to instill fear into the current frontrunners, as she is easily distinguishable in being the only female on the GOP side, and has a way with words that makes her confidence contagious.

Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and John Kasich are currently fighting a losing battle for the presidency. All three of these candidates came into the most recent debate with declining poll favorability, and all three furthered this decline as a result of their performance. Bush and Kasich demonstrated their insecurity through loudly spoken, vague rhetoric, and thinly veiled insults towards fellow debaters. America was not amused; many found Bush to be unelectable simply because of his last name; Kasich proved too liberal to be a strong republican, and too conservative to be a strong democrat. Rand Paul seems to have been unable to distinguish himself from the pack, with policy proposals that lack intrigue, and as a result he remains unpopular.

Amongst the newsworthy changes to the campaign trail are the dropouts of several relatively high-profile candidates. Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, withdrew from the race due to lack of hope for victory, as he found himself unable to obtain the support necessary to make it to the main debate stage. Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin and a well known contender, announced that he did not want to draw attention away from stronger conservative candidates, and for this reason he would be terminating his campaign. The outspoken Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, was demoted from the primetime down to the preliminary debate stage, as a result of low poll numbers. Nonetheless, Christie fought valiantly and undoubtedly emerged victorious from this debate.


Hillary Clinton- Poll Ranking: 57%

Bernie Sanders- Poll Ranking: 33%

Martin O’Malley- Poll Ranking 3%

Notable Dropouts: Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb

The race within the Democratic party is not nearly as complex and heated as that within the Republican party. Despite Bernie Sanders’ growing popularity amongst dedicated liberals, it is becoming increasingly evident that Hillary Clinton will clench the spot as Democratic nominee. In fact, CNN rates this as 92% likely to occur. While Clinton may not be well-liked by the masses on a personal level, she is a familiar face with a more accessible outlook than her radical competitor. Sanders’ well-balanced position on gun control, and his “good guy” image have earned him some newfound popularity, however his socialistic tendencies are all too polarizing to make him a realistic competitor. Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb, both of whom displayed weak performances at the recent debates, have dropped out of the race due to lack of support, and it is likely that Martin O’Malley will soon follow in their footsteps. Whether Hillary is loved or hated, those whose minds are boggled by the tumultuous drama of the Republican party can rest easy knowing that the Democratic outcome is most likely set in stone.

Whether you are of voting age, or not, being informed and oriented as to the happenings in the race for the White House is a key part in being an involved citizen of this great country. MDO is here to help make this process simple and interesting!