Controversy and Change: The 2016 Presidential Election

Elizabeth McLaughlin, Staff Writer

November 8, 2016. The day itself is just a Tuesday, but the events unfolding on this day will shape our nation for years to come. The 2016 Presidential Election has been controversial, revealing, and a critical component of our daily lives for months. There have been two Republican debates so far, with another scheduled for late October.

They’ve showcased a plethora of conservative ideas and candidates among the likes of Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. Trump is the frontrunner, at 28.5% in the polls (all polling data is as of September 20, 2015). Ben Carson is almost a full 10 points behind, coming in at 18.8%.

These candidates have had their fair share of controversy. Trump commented about Mexican people as a whole: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” His remarks have sparked an backlash from the media and citizens alike. Despite this, he is still heading the polls.

Meanwhile, the Democratic party hasn’t any debates yet, but they are much anticipated. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the two candidates who currently stand out. In the polls, Clinton reached a peak of 67.6% back in February 2014, but has since declined in approval and support. In turn, Bernie Sanders, a dark horse Senator from Vermont, has gained a massive, cult-like following. With Clinton at 43.3% and Sanders at 23.8%, one could argue that the race isn’t all that close, although it is intriguing.

Clinton is the former Secretary of State. Her husband Bill has garnered recognition for her, in both good and bad light. Many refuse to see past the point that she is much more than just a wedding ring. She is a strong contender for the POTUS.

Sanders is anti-Super PAC and gains his following and financial means mostly through emails and word-of-mouth; he is popular among the younger generations for his forward-thinking and open-minded views. He is a refreshing change in politics and deserves to be considered as a serious candidate, rather than just a liberal phony looking for his fifteen minutes of fame.

Overall, the upcoming presidential election thus far has been entertaining, nonetheless, but more than anything, it has been an eye-opening experience for the minds of U.S. citizens that have, and will continue to, shape their views, and will eventually lead to the next president of the United States.