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Easiest Guide for the 2016 Campaign Trail!

 Monday was Presidents Day and this is the year of the presidential election; it only seems fitting to know what is going on in politics. Phrases like “right-wing,” “Electoral College” and “GOP” make you knit your brows and wish that we could just fast-forward to 2017. Unfortunately, the time machine hasn’t been invented yet—but this guide promises to make your life a little more bearable in the present. So, let’s get into some politics!

The Basics

 Here are a few facts that you should know about the current frontrunners.

Hillary Clinton (D-New York)

– Former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady

– Advocates for expansion of the Affordable Care Act

– Supports legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage

Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

– Current U.S. Senator

– Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act

– Opposes net neutrality 

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

– Current U.S. Senator, former state representative

– Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act

– Believes that climate change is real, but doesn’t believe that humans play a role in it

 Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)

– Current U.S. Senator, former U.S. Representative

– Supports implementation of a universal healthcare system

– Wants to make preschool, public college/university tuition free

Donald Trump (R-New York)

– Chairman, President and CEO of the Trump Organization

– Opposes gun control

– Wants to save Social Security and Medicare by expanding the economy

Are you still with me?


Good. Let’s move on.

Primaries and Nominations


The purpose of a primary election is to nominate delegates who will, in turn,

nominate candidates at their party’s national convention.


Primaries are vital to the process of picking a president, but we tend to focus on just two—those

in Iowa and New Hampshire. Every four years, candidates and the media flock to these states.

But why? The answer may surprise you.

The Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary receive so much media attention because the

candidates spend so much time there campaigning. However, the reason candidates campaign

there is because they’ll be guaranteed to receive media attention.

It’s silly, but it’s true.

The Electoral College

Hang in there, we’re almost done.

There are 530 electoral votes available and they are split between the states according to population.  An absolute majorityof electoral votes—270 to be exact—is needed to win the presidency.


Pretty simple, right?

Congratulations on making it through this guide! Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what’s going on in the 2016 presidential race. Happy voting!

BreeAngela Hamilton is a senior studying print journalism and computer graphics technology at the University of Houston. She is the Managing Editor of Her Campus UH. Her favorite pastimes include watching reruns of Law & Order: SVU and listening to music at a high volume while navigating traffic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @breeelyse_.
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