Everything You Need to Know About the Presidential Candidates

March 4, 2016

Republican Party

Name: Donald Trump

Slogan: “Make America Great Again”

Experience: None as a politician until his campaign, but he’s an experienced businessman who has made billions.

Need-to-Know History: Made his name a brand when he starred in reality show The Apprentice, and then later in The Celebrity Apprentice. He was born in Queens, New York, and followed his real-estate mogul father’s footsteps after attending Fordham University and transferring to University of Pennsylvania. Expanded his father’s businesses and has started plenty more himself. You could write a whole book on controversy surrounding Trump, especially Trump University and other lawsuits he finds himself entangled in. Says outrageous things a lot, to say the least. Was a registered Republican, and then Democrat for a spell, and clearly is back as a Republican for candidacy.

Views on Current Issues: Probably most well-known for how he wants to build a wall that he says Mexico will pay for, to which Mexican president used some colorful language on national television that can be summarized by “stick it where the sun don’t shine, Trump!” Plans to defund Planned Parenthood, but supports everything there besides abortion. Doesn’t plan to legalize marijuana now, but wants to consider it in the future. Wants to strengthen relationship with Russia to fight ISIS and doesn’t think taking in immigrants is worth it. No gun control regulation, as he wants to focus more on funding mental health institutions to prevent mass shootings.

Why People Like Him: He isn’t being funded by anyone, or so he claims. He says exactly what’s on his mind and doesn’t sugar-coat anything.

His Biggest Obstacle: The GOP doesn’t like him, and what he calls “flexibility” on his viewpoints, others call it flippancy. He also doesn’t really have any respect for other candidates or any group of people. He’s made this primary more of a bickering between candidates than a serious election, and the GOP is not happy with that at all.

Does He Stand a Chance? (As of Now) Well, he’s winning, and hasn’t seen any real opposition from any other candidates. As of now, he’s in the lead, but it appears he’s losing steam.


Name: Marco Rubiorubio

Slogan: “A New American Century”

Experience: City commissioner for West Miami briefly before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives, and became the Speaker of the Florida House. He then became a Senator before his campaign began.

Need-to-Know History: Came from a working class family and was born in Miami. One of the only Republicans who can say they actually came from humble beginnings, and his parents were Cuban immigrants. Attended the University of Miami and then went on to get a law degree at University of Miami. He quickly rose in politics and is known for his awkward drink of water during his State of the Union speech (look it up, it’s pretty funny) but that has long since been forgotten once he began running for president.

Views on Current Issues: Firm supporter of the second amendment and repealing Obamacare. He thinks we need to strengthen our national defense and is in strong favor of cutting the Iran nuclear deal, where we would supply them with some pretty dangerous weapons. Thinks that we need to take a strong stance on ISIS and help out and supply local troops who are fighting ISIS. He wants to strengthen small businesses by cutting the corporate tax and take off economic regulations that make it harder to compete with foreign economies and bring more businesses back to the US. A little less strict on immigration; he wants to strengthen border control, but

Why People Like Him: He’s an idealist and has high hopes for the nation’s future. It doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty attractive, too. In his comparatively shorter time in politics due to his young age, he’s made some pretty big changes for Florida. The GOP also likes him a lot because of his leadership and speaking skills and impressive amount of changes he made in such a short time.

His Biggest Obstacle: He can’t stop quarreling with Trump and has a pretty terrible attendance record for voting in the Senate. This pissed off a lot of Floridians. Also, he was part of a group that caused scandal in 2013  called ‘The Gang of Eight’ that proposed amnesty to illegal immigrants and make it easier for them to attain citizenship. It was basically a disaster, but he’s trying to put that behind him with stricter laws while still allowing eventual citizenship.

Does He Stand a Chance? (As of Now) Well, that’s up in the air. He has less of a chance compared to Cruz as he’s only won one state so far, but could still pull ahead in the future. His past attendance and Gang of Eight ex-membership is coming back to bite him in these debates, though.


Name: Ted Cruz cruz

Slogan: “Reigniting the Promise for America”

Experience: Earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and went on to attend Harvard Law School. Elected to the US Senate after working for George W. Bush’s campaign.

Need-to-Know History: He had a dual Canadian citizenship until four years ago after being born in Canada, moving shortly to Houston where he was raised. He gave a 21 hour speech trying to block Obama’s healthcare plan.

Views on Current Issues: Pass an amendment for a balanced budget act to be inserted into the Constitution. End corporate income tax and create a flat tax to try to drive more businesses back to the US. He also doesn’t agree with Common Core, a program to make an educational standard nationwide, and put the responsibility on states to create their own plan. He’s a firm believer in regulating immigration stricter and block efforts to create a pathway to illegal immigrants in the US.

Why People Like Him: He’s a true Republican and has no past scandals that plague him. An eloquent speaker who’s a true Tea Party Republican, many people see him as the only true Republican nominee that has a chance against the Democrats.

His Biggest Obstacle: He kind of looks like Kevin from The Office.

Does He Stand a Chance? (As of Now) Most people think he’s the only one who could defeat Trump. As of now, he has won four states, but he’s building momentum.


Name: John Kasichkasich

Slogan: “Kasich for Us.”

Experience: Governor of Ohio and a Senator in Senate up until he became a representative in the House (AKA- he has a lot of experience in a lot of different places). Had a show on Fox News called “Heartland with John Kasich”, which was fairly successful and ran for a couple of years.

Need-to-Know History: Bachelor’s in political science from Ohio State. He was born in Pittsburgh, so nothing too interesting about him until he graduated and promptly began his political career.

Views on Current Issues: Defund Planned Parenthood and oppose abortion except for the case of rape or incest. Wants Balanced Budget amendment like Carson, and has been able to take Ohio’s 8 billion in debt to 2 billion during his time. Which means unlike most candidates, he has proven his budget plan has worked, at least in Ohio’s case.

Why People Like Him: He seems to be the only mature one who’s still a serious nominee. No other GOP candidate seems to have a problem with him, probably mostly because he doesn’t pose a threat and is basically running for Vice President at this point. Ohio loves him because of what he has done for their economy.

His Biggest Obstacle: He’s not as interesting as the other candidates and really never gets any questions asked of him during the debates. However, he’s started to buckle down and pledges that he’ll win Ohio. He has been criticized for expanding Medicaid, which was a major component of Obamacare, and we all know how Republicans feel about that. Most people just think of him as the Republican nominee’s Vice President at this point, because there’s no doubt he’s the most skilled at balancing budgets.

Do They Stand a Chance? (As of Now) Well, he seems a lot more dedicated than he has at the beginning of his campaign, and even said of the first Super Tuesday that he wasn’t super interested in the results, but said that “it’s now March Madness and we’re moving up north” to his turf. I guess we’ll just have to see how he fares, but as of now, he hasn’t won any states…

Democratic Party


Name: Hillary Clintonclinton

Slogan: “Hillary for America”

Experience: Served as secretary of state up until she announced candidacy. She was a senator for New York before that, and the first lady while Bill was in office.

Need-to-Know History: It should go without saying she was married to then-president Bill Clinton. Was raised in a middle-class family in Chicago, attended a college named Wellesley, and then got a law degree at Yale Law School. Of course, there’s been a lot of controversy recently over the email scandal, and being married to Bill didn’t really help while the cheating scandal happened. But that’s been a thing of the past for a while.

Views on Current Issues: Considers herself a champion for women’s rights, and wants the federal minimum wage to be raised to 12 dollars an hour. Wants to leave Obamacare in place, and doesn’t want to make all college tuition-free (except community college), but will give a whopping amount in grants for bettering higher education. On terrorism, supports no-fly zone and US involvement against Syria.

Why People Like Her: She’s a less extreme version of Bernie’s issues-think more Democratic and less socialist. Many people see her experience as being advantageous, especially with the help of been-there, done-that Bill Clinton by her side. People of favor of women’s rights also tend to support her (obviously).

Her Biggest Obstacle: Her email scandal frightened people, because a lot of people argue that if she’s making that big of a mistake on our security, she might not be able to handle being the face of our nation. The fact that the FBI is investigating her has been something Republicans use against her often.

Does She Stand a Chance? (As of Now) Oh yeah. She’s winning right now in the polls, but Sanders is posing a larger threat than she had expected. Being one of two candidates, the chances are really high for her, but it’s around 50-50.


Name: Bernie Sanders

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Sanders-021507-18335- 0004

Slogan: “A Political Revolution Is Coming.”

Experience: US Senator of Vermont up until he announced his campaign, and before that, served in the House of Representatives.  

Need-to-Know History: Attended University of Chicago for political science. Let’s be honest, he’s really old and has lived a pretty full life, mostly as a political revolutionist and an activist, which seems to excite the younger voters quite a bit. Stood for eight hours to oppose Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in 2010, and has caused quite a stir calling himself a “Democratic socialist” a term that scares both Republicans and Democrats. Used to consider himself an independent candidate because of his ultra-leftist beliefs, but has long since joined as a Dem.

Views on Current Issues: Wants to make public college tuition-free and would replace Obamacare with a single-payer healthcare system. In support of legalizing recreational marijuana and opposes a no-fly zone in Syria. Would raise minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour and says that regions near where ISIS has established themselves should deal with it on their own.

Why People Like Him: Well, he’s a firm believer in distribution of wealth and the free college, legalize weed thing draws in a younger, ‘progressive’ crowd. He’s not afraid to speak his mind on issues he thinks need fixing, and is a hard-hitting candidate that may come off as an old man with a bedraggled appearance, but has enough ambition to counter that.

His Biggest Obstacle: Socialist. People are still very scared of that word being thrown around as it’s almost synonymous with communist, and economists are still debating whether his policies on taxing the rich more and free public college would actually work.

Does He Stand a Chance? (As of Now) In the beginning of his campaign, he was quoted saying “don’t underestimate me” and he certainly has proved he’s a serious candidate. He’s battling it out with Hillary, so it’s yet to be determined, but very likely as of now.

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