2016 elections 101

What you missed over the summer

Setheesh Moturi

The presidential election may be over a year away, but the news and media are already buzzing with predictions, declared candidates and their strategies. From Hillary and Trump to Deez Nuts and Waka Flocka, there’s a lot to learn. While many of our cohorts may not care about the election, basic knowledge of the candidates and their parties can help you (try to) understand your government.


The Republican Party, or GOP (Grand Old Party), originally part of the Democratic-Republican Party, was organized in 1854 in opposition to the Federalist Party. They strongly believe in and advocate for patriotism, conservative religion, and personal freedoms.

Jeb Bush:

“Jeb” is actually an acronym for John Ellis Bush. Bush has deep ties in the Hispanic community and many foresee him leaning on these connections later in the election. He is a Republican favorite due to his overall traditional views, his track record as a Floridian governor and his age. Bush’s biggest obstacles will be gaining support from Republicans with his uncharacteristically progressive views on issues such as immigration and taxes, moving past the “Bush legacy,” and not being as entertaining as other candidates (i.e. Trump).

Donald Trump:

Everyone loves to hate him; except more people love him than you think. Donald Trump came into this race guns blazing after rumored runs in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2012. Trump is a businessman first and has used his large capital to self-fund his whole campaign. Toward the beginning of his campaign, he made strongly negative statements about the Mexican community, reporters and previous presidents. As the folks on Twitter would say, “No one is safe, bruh.” Almost all of Trump’s corporate supporters have begun to sever ties with him, yet the gap between Hillary Clinton’s lead is steadily closing.


The Democratic Party is the oldest existing political party in the U.S., having been organized in 1828. The Democratic Party was also originally part of the DRP, and ironically enough is now the bastion for federal involvement in American politics. They strongly believe in social justice, liberal progressivism and personability.

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary seems to be the candidate who wants this presidency the most. Clinton found her stride; she has a good platform, financial backing and policy stances that the Democratic Party can get behind. Similarly to Bush, Clinton also comes with less-than-favorable family ties and a myriad of other personal-made-public issues. She is for same-sex marriage and currently working on a way for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship without deportation.

Bernie Sanders:

Very few Democrats have announced their candidacy; Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the only two with enough headway to mention. Sanders is a placeholder for Democratic competition. He is essentially the poor Trump of the Democratic Party. He has strong liberal ideas about economics, community, and equality. The main reason Sanders won’t accept any gratuitous financial backing is because he is attempting to run a campaign that is true to his policies. Many consider his economic policies socialist and/or fascist, yet the supporters he has are strong and among a typically unheard demographic: millennial libertarians.

Honorable Mentions:

Ben Carson, an Adventist neurosurgeon who gained sudden political popularity in 2013, has been slowly building his campaign as a Republican candidate. Many in the Adventist community have mixed feelings about his decision to run. Deez Nuts is reportedly a fifteen-year-old from Pennsylvania. According to TIME Magazine, he held some of the best numbers a third-party candidate has seen in over twenty years and has been beating Clinton in some states.

The bottom line?

This coming election is shaping up to be quite the race, with most of the interest centralizing around the Republican party. Keep an eye out for more updates to stay ahead on the buzz for 2016.

Setheesh Moturi is a sophomore studying mathematics and religious education.