2016 Presidential Candidate Cheat Sheet

We’re entering the home stretch of this presidential race with the Iowa caucuses having kicked everything off this past Monday. This race in particular has had the most eyes on it with each candidate taking full advantage of social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and even Snapchat. But for those who haven’t paid much attention to each candidate for any reason here’s a cheat sheet for every candidate still currently in the 2016 Presidential Race.

The Republicans

Jeb Bush

Who is he?

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush is the former governor of Florida and the only one to date to serve two consecutive terms in that office. His more obvious identifier is being the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of another former President, George W. Bush. He announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015.

Nomination Chances: 

It was highly anticipated that Jeb would run and when he finally did announce his candidacy it was predicted that he would be “the one”. Jeb Bush was supposed to be the third part of the Bush presidential trinity but it is not likely to come to fruition. Jeb Bush was supposed to be this year's Mitt Romney and gain all the momentum he needed to gain the nomination but it has yet to happen. It seems that his last name has hurt his chances more than it has helped and even though he has massive financial backing, he’s never risen past fourth place (at best) in most polls.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

 

 

Ben Carson

Who is he?

Dr. Ben Carson was the former head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Up until announcing his candidacy for president, he’s had no previous political experience.  He gained the attention of conservatives in 2013 when he spoke out against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), going as far as to say that it has been “the worst thing to occur in the United States since slavery”. He announced his candidacy on May 4, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

For some time during his campaign, Dr. Carson seemed to be the one who would knock Donald Trump off his first place high horse but that time has come to a close. In many national polls he’s dropped to fourth place and is not likely to make a significant comeback in time to gain the nomination.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Chris Christie

Who is he?

Chris Christie is the current Governor of New Jersey, first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2013. Before becoming governor, he served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, appointed to this post by then president, George W. Bush. He announced his candidacy on June 30, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

While it can be argued that he’s had a bigger overall presence then say either Gilmore and Kasich, it’s not very likely that you will see Chris Christie end up with the GOP nomination. Christie was never seen as the front runner for the GOP and with public opinion of him swaying against him after “bridgegate” the nomination has moved out of his reach.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Ted Cruz

Who is he?

Ted Cruz is a Senator from Texas and a former deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush. The most controversial issue surrounding Ted Cruz is the fact that he was born in Canada. He announced his candidacy on March 23, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

Ted Cruz has always been seen as a serious contender for the GOP nomination and he’s gained even more momentum after winning the Iowa Caucuses, removing Donald Trump as the front runner for the GOP. With the New Hampshire primaries coming up next week, he could easily widen his lead.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Carly Fiorina

Who is she?

Similar to Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina is a successful businesswoman. She was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (Think HP laptops, printers, etc. in case you didn’t already know) from 1999 to 2005. Again, similar to Donald Trump, Fiorina has held no political positions but unlike her opponent she’s at least attempted to break onto the political scene before announcing her presidential candidacy. She served as an advisor for McCain in 2008 and attempted to take Barbara Boxer’s seat in the senate in 2010. She announced her candidacy on May 4, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

As the only female Republican candidate currently still in the race for president, she is not likely to win the nomination. During the first two GOP debates she gained quite a bit of media attention and a good amount of momentum but it wasn’t enough to take her all the way to the top. It isn’t terribly surprising to see that she won’t get the nomination simply because like in the case of Dr. Carson, it has been a very long times since a new comer with no real political background get a dominant party’s nomination. Even though she won’t win, perhaps this will lead to more women running for president on a GOP ticket in future election.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Jim Gilmore

Who is he?

Jim Gilmore is the former governor of Virginia who served from 1998 to 2002. He filed his candidacy on July 29, 2015. His main issues, as stated by him, would be preserving the second amendment to bear arms, immigration and re-enforcing border patrolling, healthcare reform and the economy.

Nomination Chances:

At the moment it’s not very likely. Throughout the race so far he’s been sidelined from every GOP primary debate and not many people even knew he was still running at this point. He did however gain some attention during the last GOP debate but his 15 minutes of fame are far from enough to win him his party’s nomination.

Social media/online presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

John Kasich

Who is he?

John Kasich is the current Governor of Ohio, first elected to office in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He announced his candidacy on July 21, 2015. He’s seen a conservative man and has proven himself so in the implementation of certain laws in the state of Ohio such as the one he signed which placed restrictions on abortion procedures and women’s access to the procedure. He’s said that he’s opposed to much of Obama’s affordable healthcare act (Obamacare) while at the same time increasing federal funding in Ohio for Medicaid.

Nomination Chances:

Governor Kasich is currently in the state of New Hampshire trying to rally as many votes as possible because, like Iowa, New Hampshire is a key state for many candidates. He’s had a bigger presence in this race than fellow candidate, Jim Gilmore, but if he doesn’t place well in New Hampshire it is unlikely that he will gain the momentum needed to win the Republican nomination.

Social media/online presence:

Twitter  Facebook Campaign Website

Marco Rubio

Who is he?

Marco Rubio is a current Senator for the state of Florida and before that was the speaker of the Florida House. He announced his candidacy on April 13, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

It’s still very much up in the air whether or not he’ll get the nomination. He placed third in the Iowa Caucuses, falling behind Trump by just 1.2%.  If he places better in the upcoming New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries then the momentum that everyone expected from his campaign could suddenly show up. However, if he doesn’t do well in either of those primaries then it’s possible that even well placement on Super Tuesday may not help him.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Rick Santorum

Who is he?

Rick Santorum is a former senator from Pennsylvania who represented the state from 1995 to 2006. He previously ran for president in 2012 but lost the GOP nomination to Mitt Romney. He announced his candidacy on May 27, 2015. Fun Fact: He’s the former student of St. John’s Government and Politics professor, Dr. Pecorella! (Before he began teaching at St. John’s of course).

Nomination Chances:

No. To be perfectly honest, his time has come and gone. His biggest chance at really being a true presidential candidate was in 2012 but Mitt Romney took that away. Perhaps he expected followers from the 2012 running to return to him in droves and give him the same amount of momentum he had then but it just wasn’t going to happen.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Donald Trump

Who is he?

Donald Trump is a hugely successful real estate businessman and reality TV star. He’s also the candidate that you’ve heard most about because his candidacy was originally (and still is by many) seen as a huge joke. Nobody took him seriously because he has absolutely no political experience and has come off as wildly offensive and inappropriate. He’s single handedly managed to offend refugees (especially Syrian refugees), Hispanics (especially Mexicans), and an entire religion.  He announced his candidacy on June 1, 2015.

Nomination Chances:

As scary as it is for many Americans, he’s remained the GOP’s front runner almost since he announced his candidacy, so yes he has quite the shot at getting the nomination. However, he came in second to Ted Cruz in the Iowa Caucuses so perhaps the polls weren’t as accurate as they claim to be and there is hope for us yet. Only time will tell. #AnyoneButTrump2016

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

 

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton

Who is she?

If you really don’t know who Hillary Rodham Clinton is then clearly you've been living under a rock for at least 20 years. In case you really did live under a rock for that long here’s what you have to know about the woman: she was a former First Lady (Bill Clinton...ring any bells?), former senator from New York, former Secretary of State under President Obama and she’s also a lawyer. She previously ran for president in 2008 but ultimately lost the Democratic nomination to President, Barack Obama.

Nomination Chances:

At this point there are only two Democratic candidates still running for the nomination and Hillary is the front runner, but only by a very slim margin. If she is able to maintain her momentum through the New Hampshire and South Carolina Primaries, along with Super Tuesday then yes, she can absolutely get the nomination. However many people have swayed away from Hillary because she’s seen as a flip flopper; up until recently she was not a supporter of same-sex marriages and yet she altered her logo to reflect a gay pride flag once the supreme court ruling came about.

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

Bernie Sanders

Who is he?

Bernie Sanders is a current senator from Vermont and is more famously known for being a self proclaimed socialist. Before serving as senator he represented Vermont in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007. He announced his candidacy on April 30, 2015 in a manner much unlike any of the candidates still in the running, no rally, no huge party but a simple statement to his supporters.

Nomination Chances:

While Hillary is still seen as the front runner, Bernie is a political force to be reckoned with and is giving her a run for her money (literally). He has a HUGE following among millennials and unlike his fellow candidates; his campaign is funded by his followers with no Super PAC in sight. His age has been brought up as an issue because at 74 years old he’d be the oldest candidate to serve as president, were he elected but he’s proven that age is just a number with the amount of energy he’s put into this campaign. He is seen by many as the middle class’ champion and more likeable than Hillary Clinton. Bernie “lost” to Hillary in the Iowa Caucuses by a mere .3% and if his momentum continues then he can hand Hillary her second presidential defeat in 8 years.  #FeelTheBern

Social Media/Online Presence:

Twitter  Facebook  Campaign Website

 

Candidate information aside, the one thing readers should take away from this article is the importance of voting because if you absolutely hate or love a candidate, you can make sure that candidate makes or fails to make it to the finish line! If you haven’t already, register to vote here or check to see if you’re registered to vote here. Do your research as well in terms of when your state’s primaries are because even if you’re 3000 miles away from home, you can still vote and make a difference!