We are still 10 months away from electing a new president of our country. But citizens who live in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire will line up in less than a month to start selecting the names that will appear on the ballots in the general election. Here’s a look at the current state of both parties.
When news organizations, including the Associated Press, cover the campaign trail of Hillary Clinton, they like to refer to her as the “likely Democratic nominee.”
Well, Clinton is not a “likely nominee” anymore. Even she herself isn’t sure if she can avoid writing a concession speech again. As ABC News reported on Jan. 9th, “Just a few weeks until the first voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, her campaign staffers are showing signs they’re more anxious than ever about the outcome of these races.” Clinton’s campaign manager wrote in a fundraising email that “there is a situation developing in Iowa and New Hampshire that could change the course of this election.” Team Clinton has never forgotten Barack Obama’s strong second place in New Hampshire in 2008 that smashed Clinton’s dream of securing the Presidency.
Clinton and her staffers are right to be worried! According to the New York Times, a poll conducted by Fox News earlier in January showed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont with a 13% lead over Hillary Clinton, 50% to her 37%. Sanders’ lead has grown since a one-point lead in a similar poll in November.
Having served the public for more than three decades, the 74-year-old Sanders’ socialist platform is fresh for a nation whose political system is under the control of big money. A nation whose economic growth only benefits the top 1%. A Democratic Socialist presidency represents a new hope for equality.
Hillary Clinton’s close relationship with Wall Street is no longer an asset for her since Sanders—who doesn’t accept donations from corporations—is pledging to wage war against the greed of corporate America.
Clinton may be favorable to members of the DNC. But, as NBC News pointed out, we should keep in mind that “if a candidate can win early states, the candidate receives a lot of media attention and interest from donors which in turn feeds a perception of strength which influences voters in succeeding states.” If Sanders’ ability to get people to vote is as good as his ability to get people to show up for his campaign rallies, he might do even better than Barack Obama did in 2008.
New Hampshire is a place where, politically, new things emerge—both Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s unpromising campaigns found new life there. So let’s not peg anyone as the “likely Democratic Nominee” until the official polls tell us the story.
Too much Trump, right? You’ve seen the endless news stories and Facebook links. Unlike Clinton and Sanders, Trump doesn’t have one particular rival. His rival is the entire Republican party.
Trump is an angry man—he is angry that we have immigrants, angry that Barack Obama was born on U.S. soil, angry that Americans get affordable health care, and angry that Hillary Clinton took an extended bathroom break during a recent Democratic debate.
He seems as unlikable and unappealing as a candidate can get. But we have angry people in this country who would love to have Trump as their future president. Trump isn’t going away anytime soon. In my view, he will probably win early voting states and become the GOP’s nominee, crushing candidates like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio who the Republican Party actually wants to nominate.
According to an online poll conducted by NBC News, Survey Monkey, and Esquire this past November, “Americans are angry about a lot of things, apparently, and sometimes even about the same things,” while “white Americans and Republicans are the angriest of all.” If you pay close attention to the audience in Trump’s campaign, you won’t see many Latinos, African Americans, or Asian Americans. It is mostly white Americans that lap up Trump’s foolishness and misdirected anger.
For Americans, an angry Trump embodies their anger towards the state of the Union.
Politics will always be a game of prediction with no standard formula. Nobody votes with the assurance that the person they support is guaranteed to get the throne. As long as we have Sanders and Trump, whose rises to prominence were so fast and eventful, we should presume no outcome.