Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Your Guide To The Presidential Candidates


With the presidential primaries underway, it is important that college students stay up-to-date and informed on the candidates. After all, we are the generation of the future! Popular issues among this presidential debate include: abortion, gun control, welfare, Obamacare, equal pay, gay marriage, Planned Parenthood funding, Syrian refugees, immigration, and more. Here is an overview of the current Democratic and Republican candidates.


Democratic Candidates


Hillary Clinton


Who she is: She’s a trained attorney, former Secretary of State in the Obama administration, former senator from New York, and former first lady. But she’s also got baggage. There’s a possible federal investigation into whether sensitive information was compromised in connection with the personal email account she used as secretary of state. 


In a nutshell: “I have laid out four fights to face our greatest challenges: we must create an economy that raises pay and creates good jobs, ensuring those at the top pay their fair share. We have to support families by expanding access to health care and other vital services. We must maintain our leadership for global peace and security. Finally, we must stop the flow of secret money that corrupts our politics.”


Bernie Sanders

Who he is: A self-professed socialist, Sanders represented Vermont in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007, when he won a seat in the Senate. He is drawing some of the biggest and youngest voters of any candidate.


In a nutshell: “I will address the most important challenges facing our country by bringing people together to reinvigorate democracy. Middle class and working families and low-income people. White, Black, Hispanic, and Native American. Men and women. Straight and gay. Native born and immigrant. This is the only way to address the major economic, political, social, and environmental challenges facing our country.”


Republican Candidates


John Kasich

Who he is: The current Ohio governor served in Congress from 1983 until 2001 as a representative from the state’s 12th district.


In a nutshell: He wants to lift defense-spending caps and allow health insurance programs to be run by the individual states. He also supports shutting down Planned Parenthood and wants all health insurance regulation to be done by states. In terms of immigration: “I’m for finishing the border so we can protect the country. A guest worker program so people can come in and out, work and go home.”


Donald Trump

Who he is: If you haven’t heard Donald Trump’s name in the news, you’re living under a rock. He has certainly hogged the campaign attention in a large way, and has polled quite the numbers to back up his talk.


In a nutshell: “I think the most important issues facing this country are economic recovery, immigration and national security. I have proposed an excellent pro-growth tax policy, have taken the strongest stance on immigration reform and have addressed how we will recapitalize our military to attain the readiness necessary to achieve and protect our national interests. A strong economy must be first.” Trump wants to build a wall across the Mexican border, and would increase fees on border crossing cards, temporary visas and entry at border ports to pay for it.


Ben Carson

Who he is: A celebrated former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. He became a conservative folk hero after a broadside against Obamacare at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.


In a nutshell: “I will address the challenges facing the U.S. with strength, resolve and most importantly my faith in God. Already, I’ve put forth my policy proposals for taxes, education, health care, national security and other issues that we know the next president will face. But we know we’ll face challenges we can’t foresee. My experience as a surgeon gives me the strength and judgment necessary to lead.” Carson opposes any federal funding for Planned Parenthood and says marriage is a religious institution and that gay marriage shouldn’t have been given a “thumbs up” by the Supreme Court.


Marco Rubio

Who he is: A second-generation Cuban-American and former speaker of the Florida House, Rubio was catapulted to national fame in the 2010 Senate election, after he unexpectedly upset Governor Charlie Crist to win the GOP nomination.


In a nutshell: If he becomes president he claims he would split the tax code into two brackets, 15 percent and 35 percent, and would scrap Obamacare. He also wants to undo the sequestration budget cuts on defense and use funds to “modernize our forces.”


Ted Cruz

Who he is: Cruz served as deputy assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and was appointed Texas solicitor general in 2003. Cruz has won support from far-right voters for his hard-line positions against Obama’s policies.


In a nutshell: He tried to de-fund Obamacare, which he said he would attempt to repeal if elected president. As well as opposing the Export-Import Bank, the Harvard Law graduate wants states to be able to have their own definition of marriage. He also opposes ethanol subsidies through the renewable fuel standard.


Similar Reads👯‍♀️