Last March, candidate Ted Cruz announced that he was running for president. 23 more nominees jumped on the presidential bandwagon in the next couple months, and since then, political news has basically been a confusing game of which candidate is which and what does each stand for?
If you’re anything like me, it’s been pretty easy to just avoid the whole thing—make the required joke about Trump’s latest, retweet Bernie vs. Hillary memes, and pretty much stay safely in the campus bubble.
However, Iowa hosted its caucus February 1 and most other states have the in the next month or so; it’s time to make our high school government teachers proud and go vote.
Without further ado, here is your cheat sheet to the 2016 presidential candidates.
Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon, with no prior political experience. He is popular among grassroots conservatives and came in fourth at the Iowa caucus, eighth in New Hampshire and sixth in South Carolina. You might know him from when he announced he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood. He also wants to re-write tax laws to create a national flat tax.
Ted Cruz hold supports among hard core conservatives. He frequently criticizes both the economic policies of the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act. He is also well known for being strongly anti-abortion. Cruz’s future seemed bright when he won the Iowa primary, but he finished third in both New Hampshire and South Carolina.
John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, is running with some support from white collar conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Running on the platform “A New Day in America”, Kasich wants to end health care insurance regulation by states and lift budget caps on military spending. He recently announced that if he does not win the Ohio on March 15, he is dropping out of the race.
Marco Rubio is arguably the favorite child of the GOP and holds a lot of the support from them. That said, he finished third, fifth, and second in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, respectively. Rubio wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and reform the tax code.
Donald Trump has easily been the most visible candidate the past several months and has also been the most successful, coming in second in Iowa and first in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. His plans to build a wall across the Mexican border received media backlash; however, having been a member of both the Republican and Democratic parties throughout his life, Trump holds relatively moderate political views.
Hillary Clinton: Formerly secretary of state, senator of New York, and first lady, Clinton has spent quite a bit of time in Washington. Her campaign has focused on raising middle class income, improve education by establishing universal pre-school and making college more affordable (yes please), and improving Obamacare. Clinton came in first in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, establishing herself as the frontrunner of the Democratic Party.
Bernie Sanders is a very liberal candidate, holding support among far left Democrats and members of the Progressive Party. He wants to make college free by taxing financial transactions and also has said he will raise payroll, estate, and income taxes. The future looked bright for Bernie when he won the New Hampshire primary, but the gap between him and Hillary has grown considerably after the Nevada and South Carolina primaries.