2016 Presidential Race Fast Facts

A few things we should all know about the 2016 race

Important Sh1t | Colin Bouchard | February 17, 2016

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This article was edited February 17th, 2016 at 12:03 p.m.

Here we go again. The first few primary elections are in, and all I can say is I’m surprised. I’m surprised that Donald Trump is still around. I’m surprised that Bernie Sanders has so much support– but I’m also surprised about how many students really don’t care. For many of us, this is our first time we can vote. Let’s make it count.

If you’re not up to speed on the candidates, don’t fret. I’ve got you covered. My word isn’t gospel by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re really struggling to differentiate between Rubio and Clinton, I’d give this a quick read. Let’s get started.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

How’d she get here?

Hillary Clinton grew up in the outskirts of Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s. She met her charming husband Bill in college and the duo began tearing up the political world in the 80’s. After her time living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Clinton went on to become a Senator in New York as well as the Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

Fun fact: Just like every other American, Clinton loves Chipotle. Who would have guessed?

Biggest Struggle?

Clinton is hard to trust. Many people are struggling to look past that email scandal that hit the Clinton camp last year. According to ABC, Clinton’s trust numbers were polling around 36% as of late January. If Clinton wants to have a shot at becoming the first female-president, she’s going to have to get those numbers up. Way up.

How she affects college students?

Hillary is a big advocate for college students. She has a strong stance on campus sexual assaults and has the drive to eliminate them while also pushing for free public colleges.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

How’d he get here?

Sanders has spent most of his life in some form of elected position. Sanders ran and won for Burlington mayor in 1981 and has been in politics ever since. The life-long independent (until this ongoing election) then became Vermont’s sole congressman in the House for 16 years. He is currently a second-term senator. 

Fun Fact: Bernie Sanders played a Rabbi in a low-budget movie once. Yeah, that’s right. The movie is called My X-Girlfriend’s Wedding Reception, and sadly it’s not on Netflix.

Biggest Struggle?

Implementing his ideas. Many of the senator’s ideas sound beneficial in principle, but in reality, he will have trouble passing these ideas. Ideas such as breaking up big banks, free University for all and a complicated tax reform face little to no chance of being passed in a republican controlled congress.

How he affects college students?

Free tuition. Free tuition. Free tuition. One of the reasons Sanders is so popular among college students is that he’s fighting for us. One of his chief policies is making public higher education free for all (sorry Syracuse, we’re private). Uncle Bernie is also seen as a fresh candidate when compared to the likes of Ben Carson and Hillary Clinton, which can’t do the 74-year-old any harm.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

How’d he get here?

Short answer: A small loan of one million dollars.

T.V Show Character?

Alf. It’s mostly the hair. If you can call it hair.

Biggest Struggle?

This is a tough one. I keep thinking he’ll implode after yet another idiotic comment, but after attacking Jeb Bush’s mother and 9/11 in last week’s debate and basically getting away with it, I’m starting to wonder if he has a weakness at all.

How he affects college students?

Trump is purposely vague in his more realistic policies (banning all Muslims isn’t exactly realistic), so figuring out what Trump would do isn’t that easy. Time magazine quoted Trump saying “I’m going to look into colleges. … We’re going to do something with regard to really smart financing.” So basically he’ll get back to us once he figures out how to have “really smart financing” while lowering taxes.

rubio

Marco Rubio

How’d he get here?

The youngest of the candidates, Rubio became a junior senator in 2011 of his home state, Florida. That’s really it. Rubio is somewhat inexperienced, and his fellow republican candidates are making sure to point that out.

Spirit Food?

Kale smoothie. He could be refreshing, and some people like him, but others really hate him. It’s a personal thing.

Biggest Struggle?

Again, it’s his lack of experience. Four years in the Senate is nothing compared to many of his competitors on both sides of the aisle. Furthermore, Rubio has struggled in the debates with keeping his facts straight, which never helps a candidate’s credibility.

How he affects college students?

Marco Rubio is big into vocational schools. Vocational schools are schools where students learn trades like plumbing, carpeting, and other labor intensive jobs our country needs. He believes more students should go through vocational schooling instead of (and this is Rubio’s example) majors such as Philosophy. He kind of has a point there.

Jeb

Jeb Bush

How’d he get here?

Born into a family of politicians, Jeb realistically was always going to be thrown into the spotlight. Bush was the Governor of Florida for eight years prior to running for president.

TV show character?

Milhouse from The Simpsons. He’s constantly being put down by the other kids (*Cough* Donald Trump), but every so often he says something profound which surprises everyone.

Biggest struggle?

Jeb basically has two issues: his last name and his relationship with Donald Trump. Jeb is looking to be the third Bush president, but a lot of people aren’t his family’s biggest fan. Neither is Donald Trump. Trump has picked Bush to be his figurative whipping boy, which has made Bush seem weak and unable to stand up to people.

How he affects college students?

This is a tough one. Jeb claimed to have revamped the public school system in Florida, making it easier for low-income families and minorities to get a higher education, but sources actually indicate he’s made things worse in Florida.

Carson 1

Dr. Ben Carson

How’d he get here?

Plucked from a life of crime, Ben Carson eventually got his life together and became a doctor. Carson worked at The John’s Hopkins University Medical Center as a brain surgeon and wrote several best-selling books before announcing his intentions to run for president.

Spirit food?

A boiled potato. Not very interesting and doesn’t have too much to it.

Biggest struggle?

A lot of people don’t believe what Ben Carson says. He has made some more outrageous claims during his presidential race that really nobody believes. Also, this might just be me, but listening to him speak is about as engaging as watching paint dry. So not at all.

How he affects college students?

Carson is notoriously unpopular with college students. His monotone voice and strange comments don’t exactly make him the most well-liked of the candidates, but it’s his lack of passion towards most things college students care about which makes him unpopular.

cruz

Ted Cruz

How’d he get here?

Cruz, although born in Canada, ran and won for senator of Texas in 2012. Since then, Cruz has had his sites on the 2016 presidential race, announcing his plans to run on March 23rd (earlier than almost all of the other candidates). Whether or not his birth country is an issue is yet to be solved.

TV Show character?
Robin from How I Met Your Mother. No, not because of his good looks or his charming smile, but rather because everybody was a bit weirded out when they found out he was from Canada.

Biggest struggle?

Apart from the whole Canadian thing, Cruz struggles to break through with the younger voters. His general lack of “hipness” doesn’t do him any favors, as well as his incredibly harsh stance on abortion and planned parenthood.

How he affects college students?

Cruz, like many of the republican candidates, has seen his fair share of backlash about his stance on gay marriage. In general, college campuses are some of the most accepting places for the LGBT communities, so treading on those feet could be costly if Cruz wants to secure college students’ votes.

Kasich

John Kasich

How’d he get here?

Kasich was a House member in Ohio and Chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee until 2000 before selling his soul to Fox News, where he had his own show for seven years. Kasich is now a two-time Governor in Ohio.

Fun fact:

John Kasich once tried to climb onto the stage of a Grateful Dead concert. Needless to say, he didn’t succeed.

Biggest struggle?

Kasich’s struggles are similar to those of Ted Cruz. He lacks charisma on stage during debates and is an opponent of any women’s rights when it comes to abortions. Put those together and Kasich could have some issues later on in the election. That being said, Kasich did come in second place in the New Hampshire primaries, which was a surprise to many.

How he affects college students?

Kasich’s only concrete claim about college sounds just like every other candidate’s: make college cheaper. Whether or not he could if elected is debatable, but his track record in Ohio is a cause for optimism.

 

There we go. Every candidate has been summed up. This article obviously shouldn’t give you everything you need to know before stepping into the voting booth come election day. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll be informed enough to actually go out and do something. Even if that something is watching Bernie Sanders’ crappy movie then I’ve done my job here.