Over the past year, the candidates for the 2016 presidential election have been making headline news across America, but Snow College students seem basically unaware of the candidates and their platforms. An informal poll conducted among Snowdrift staff suggests that while most students are familiar with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, popular candidates for the Democrat and Republican parties, respectively, few are aware of the values these and other candidates hold or their positions on controversial issues.
While the election is still more than a year away, polling the general public has revealed a few favorites among the many candidates. Much of this polling data has been collected by RealClearPolitics, an independent political website. Among Democrat candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders both have widespread support. Among Republicans, businessman Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush are the frontrunners in many polls. This article lists a few, but not all, of the issues each candidate has promised to address.
According to Clinton’s campaign website, her proposals include increasing the minimum wage, providing tax relief for working families and small businesses, more affordable college educations, and reducing the wage gap between men and women. She also touts herself as a champion for women’s rights, declaring in April of this year that “America moves forward when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices.”
Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist”, has increased in popularity lately and is a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. His campaign website platform includes, among other things, reducing income inequality, racial justice, and humane immigration policies. Like Clinton, he supports minimum wage increases and making college educations more widely available.
Leading the pack among Republicans is Trump, well known for his controversial comments on topics like immigration and international relations. Though an official platform is still forthcoming, his previous statements indicate support for reducing taxes on citizens and businesses while increasing taxes on imported goods and outsourced jobs, replacing Obamacare with free-market options, and tougher immigration laws.
Trailing Trump in popularity is Carson, a successful neurosurgeon and non-politician like Trump. Carson holds many classic conservative views, including being pro-life, simplifying the tax code, and overturning Obamacare and Common Core. He also supports ratifying a balanced-budget constitutional amendment to halt the increasing national debt.
Rounding out the top three Republicans is Bush, brother and son to two former US presidents. He, like Trump, supports replacing Obamacare with a “market-oriented alternative.” His stance on immigration is more moderate, including earned legal status for illegal immigrants. He is also well-known for his efforts in education reform both during and after his governorship, and he is a supporter of Common Core, contrary to most of the Republican candidates.