2016 presidential nominees start campaigning

Ann Rajan, Staff Writer

In the past month, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio from the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton from the Democratic Party have officially disclosed their bids for the 2016 presidential election. Several other politicians from both parties have shown an interest in running, garnering funds to prepare for the election.

On March 23, Republican Senator Ted Cruz launched his campaign through Twitter. Cruz was the first candidate to announce his bid this election by tweeting, “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” His early declaration allowed him to be the first to have a series of television appearances and gain support in states with early voting. On the topic of immigration reform, Cruz disagrees with attempts to allow undocumented immigrants to remain legally in the United States. Additionally, Cruz advocates for a move toward a flat tax rate.

In a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, Senator Rand Paul announced his bid for the presidency on April 7 for the GOP. Earlier in the year, Paul won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference for a third consecutive win. Paul’s campaign manager is Chip Englander, manager of Bruce Rauner’s successful campaign for governor of Illinois. Paul’s foreign policy advocates for an increased national defense program. Paul also believes that a cut in corporate taxes will create more jobs for the population.

Senator Marco Rubio declared his candidacy for the republican nomination in a conference call to donors on April 13, shortly before a rally in Florida. Rubio is considered to be a member of a group of senators known as the “Gang of Eight.” This group contains members of the senate who are most influential in immigration reform, with four senators from each party. Rubio advocates modernizing the immigration system by incorporating immigrants into the American lifestyle. In terms of domestic policy, Rubio is an opponent of Obama’s healthcare law.

On April 12, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her bid in the presidential election for the Democratic Party. Clinton declared her candidacy through an official campaign video titled “Getting Started.” When she officially opened her campaign, Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta tweeted that Clinton’s priorities would remain in “helping working families succeed, building small businesses, tackling climate change and clean energy.” In the upcoming weeks, Clinton will solidify her platform as a presidential nominee.

Junior Karishma Desai believes that the current state of the government may lead to an alteration in government policy.

“I’m very excited for this election because it’s the first one that I can vote in. I also think this could be a turning point in our history,” Desai said. “Right now, we have a  Republican Congress, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. If we have a Republican President, I think a lot of our policies will change, especially economically and in foreign affairs.”

Several other Republicans are on the radar as potential presidential candidates. Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and father and brother of past presidents, is exploring the presidential run as well. Bush decidedly cut his corporate ties by selling stakes in the businesses and resigning from board positions in order to prepare for a potential candidacy. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum also is considering bidding for the 2016 election. In 2012, Santorum ran for the Republican nomination but ended his campaign in April that year.

Additionally, there are several Democrats who have expressed an interest in running for the presidential election. In late 2014, former senator Jim Webb launched an Exploratory Committee to determine his status as a potential candidate. Webb served as the Secretary of the Navy from 1987 to 1988 and in United States Marines from 1968 to 1972. In addition to Webb, former governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee is considering a potential candidacy, launching an Exploratory Committee as well in the past month.

Sophomore Akash Mukherjee believes that this election, candidates are altering their policies, and that will have an impact on their campaigns.

“I think there is a lot of issue flip-flopping from a couple of the big candidates,” Mukherjee said. “Clinton, from her 2008 campaign, has changed sides on issues including same-sex marriage, marijuana, trade, and Wall Street. Republican Governor Scott Walker also has switched on issues like immigration.”

This upcoming presidential election, social media will play a larger role than in previous elections. Social studies teacher Jacqueline Dickens comments on the potential use of social media for the campaign.

“We will see a continuation of trends that have been present in the last two campaign cycles,” Dickens said. “Campaign spending will continue to increase due to relaxed regulations concerning campaign finance. Candidates will also continue to use the internet through targeted ads and social media like Twitter to connect with voters.”