The election for the next U.S. president is still about a year away, but the media coverage of the main candidates have invaded and taken over the news channels, with videos of their declarations, promises, and opinions on America and the issues of the world. Needless to say, this triggers heartfelt debates among people all over the world. Until the two parties choose their nominees for President and Vice President of the United States, the boatload of information can be a little overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep track of it all. So who are the candidates for the Democratic and Republican parties, who is the most likely to get the nomination, and what are the main issues likely to make headlines?

For our overseas audience, or for those who simply don’t know where to begin, here is a bare-bones breakdown of the key points in the U.S. election:

 

us-electionsPhoto Credit: The London Globalist

 Democratic Candidates

 

Democratic_PartyPhoto Credit: The Virgin Islands Cosnortium
  • Name: Hillary Clinton

Most Recent Position: Secretary of State (2009-2013)

 

  • Name: Martin O’Malley

Most recent position: Governor of Maryland (2007-2015)

 

  • Name: Bernie Sanders

Most recent position: U.S. Senator from Vermont  (2007-present)

 

  • Name: Lawrence Lessig

Most recent position: Law professor and activist

 

Hillary Clinton is still ahead of the other candidates, according to the most recent polls, even though Bernie Sanders appears to be gaining points. If she receives the nomination, Mrs. Clinton will have to win over the so-called “Obama Coalition” of young people, African-Americans and college-educated white people.

Republican Candidates:

 

GOPFINALPhoto Credit: Milltown Republican Organization 
  • Name: Jeb Bush

Most recent position: Governor of Florida (1999-2007)

 

  • Name: Ben Carson

Most recent position: Pediatric neurosurgeon ( retired in 2013)

 

  • Name: Chris Christie

Most recent position: Governor of New Jersey (2010-present)

 

  • Name: Ted Cruz

Most recent position: Senator from Texas (2013-present)

 

  • Name: Carly Fiorina

Most recent positon: Chairwoman of the American Conservative Union Foundation

 

  • Name: Jim Gilmore

Most recent position: Governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002

 

  • Name: Lindsay Graham

Most recent position: U.S. Seantor from South Carolina ( 2003-present)

 

  • Name: Mike Huckabee

Most recent position:  Governor of Arkansas (1996-2007)

 

  • Name: Bobby Jindal

Most recent position: Governor of Louisiana ( 2008-present)

 

  • Name: John Kasic

Most recent position: Governor of Ohio ( 2011-present)

 

  • Name: George Pataki

Most recent position: Governor of New York

 

  • Name: Rand Paul

Most recent position: U.S. Senator from Kentucky ( 2011-present)

 

  • Name: Marco Rubio

Most recent position: U.S. senator from Florida ( 2011- present)

 

  • Name: Rick Santorum

Most recent position:  U.S. senator from Pennsylvania (1995-2007)

 

  • Name: Donald Trump

Most recent position:  Real estate developer, entrepreneur, and television personality

According to the most recent polls, Donald Trump and Ben Carson dominate the Republican party field. Carson runs evenly with Trump among the groups that represent the majority of Republican voters such as conservatives and religious interest groups. Trump, a controversial figure that has ignited the media’s attention, has the highest amount of support among conservative women, leading the race among all the candidates.

Main issues discussed in the campaign

Tax policies

Both parties agree on reducing taxes but they have a different point of view on where those cuts should be applied. Democrats favor breaks for middle and low income families, while Republicans believe those cuts should be applied at all levels of income, including big corporations and billionaires.

 

republican debatePhoto Credit: NPR

Labor and free trade

The two main parties have very different ideas regarding the economy. Republicans tend to oppose increases in the minimum wage under the philosophy that costs need to be kept low for all businesses to make them prosper, so as to allow all Americans to benefit from easy access to products and services. On the other hand, Democrats support the increase of minimum wage so that Americans have more money to purchase goods. They also favor trade restrictions that protect American businesses while Republicans support free trade to keep costs low for consumers.

Health care

Democrats prefer government involvement in the health care system as well as its regulation, including the approval of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans believe that the health care system should be kept entirely private, because costs would otherwise rise while the quality of the services offered would lower considerably.

Social programs

Democrats believe that more tax dollars should be spent founding programs such as welfare, Medicaid and unemployment benefits. On the other hand, Republicans think private organizations should support people in need, not government money.

 

democraticPhoto credit: CNN politics 

Immigration

Generally, Democrats fully support the creation of a pathway towards regulation for illegal aliens without criminal records, while Republicans support deportation and stronger security at the borders of surrounding countries.

Education

Democrats are in favor of giving students more money in the form of loans and government scholarships, while Republicans think loans should come from private sectors.

No matter where your political philosophies lie, we can all agree that this next election will be an important and exciting one in these changing times. It’s not too late to tune in and follow the journey of who will become the next president of the United States.

 

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