Word has it the 2016 presidential candidates are after the millennial vote. Candidates are involving youth issues heavily in the early days of their individual campaigns.
Those who have already announced their candidacy are hunting for the best way to target a population of young voters, without whom it would be difficult to obtain the nomination. The candidates have taken care to highlight issues relevant to national youth, including student loans, healthcare and the uneasy job market.
To help associate our readers with some of the candidates, the Spectator has compiled this analysis of the 2016 presidential as it exists in its early stage. Note that this is an abbreviated list. Marco Rubio has also announced his candidacy for the republican nomination but is not discussed further in this article.
Clinton is the only Democrat to officially announce her candidacy in her second run at the Oval Office. Politically, she is a moderate democrat with a long history of public service, having served as Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady of the United States.
“[Clinton] is a politician with a lot of experience who, under most circumstances, would be looked at by the political community…as somebody who is pretty befitting of the presidential nomination,” said sophomore political science major Louis Rodrigues. “She’s been close in the past, she’s been considered by the Democratic National Committee and she probably would have been the democratic candidate in 2008 if Barack Obama hadn’t been the most charismatic politician in recent history.” In contrast to her 2008 presidential bid, Clinton will likely be participating in a largely uncontested primary. If she wins, it will also be the first time a woman captures a major party’s presidential candidacy.
Sound bite: “Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion.”
Ted Cruz was the first republican to announce his candidacy in the coming election when he officially declared in mid-March before a crowd at Liberty University. A staunch conservative, Cruz’s remarks at the announcement were centered on themes of liberty, faith and family.
“God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn’t done with America yet,” Cruz said. “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to re-ignite the promise of America.” Cruz is noted around the Hill for his ability to inspire disillusioned conservatives.
“He has had the single best sound bite over the last three years, saying that the big problem in Washington is we don’t listen,” Frank Luntz, a longtime Republican pollster, told the New York Times. “That message transcends ideology and partisanship, because so many in the public think Washington is out of touch.”
Sound bite: “It is a time for truth, it is a time for liberty, it is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States.”
Rand Paul is generally regarded as a right-wing conservative, given his Tea Party associations. In the political arenas of foreign policy, domestic spying and criminal justice, he has shown his father’s tendency towards the politically eccentric. He has been decidedly non-interventionist on foreign policy, and liberty-loving in matters at home. He differs from his party-mates given his negative stance on domestic surveillance, the implementation of less punitive drug laws and a reduction in military activity abroad.
“I think allowing states to decide for themselves on matters like marriage is a good political gesture to make. I think he can be appealing for a younger generation of conservatives,” said Max Slaughter, a sophomore studying at the University of Washington school of law.
Sound bite: “It’s time for a new way, a way predicated on justice, opportunity and freedom. Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down the wall that separates us from the other America.”
Bernard Sanders, an independent Congressman from Vermont, is also rumored to have plans to run in the 2016 election. While he has not officially announced his candidacy, his political rhetoric of late has been skewed towards the election. He recently called out Hillary Clinton, saying she was going to have to “be clear” about her stance on President Obama’s proposals for fast-track trade promotional authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership—which are aimed at opening up markets across Asia. “Are you on the side of working people who would suffer as a result of this disastrous trade agreement, and seeing their jobs go to China or Mexico, or are you on the side of corporate America? It’s not a very difficult choice,” Sanders said. Sanders has far left leaning politics, and his campaign would likely run on a pro-environmental, anti-corporate platform.
Sound bite: “We want a congress that stands … not for corporate America and the billionaire class.”