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Students Need Increased Awareness of Candidates

Although 2016 is a ways away, it’s not too early to look into who may be running for the 2016 presidential election. The top potential candidates for the election are currently Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Jeb Bush for the Republicans, but other potentials runners include Democrats Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley, and Republicans Scott Walker and Rand Paul, just to name a few. Though Bush and Clinton are the big names in the pool of potential candidates, it is crucial that voters look towards other potential runners. Jeb Bush not only has the disadvantage of being compared to his brother (George W. Bush) and father (George Bush Sr.), but points out that he may have to endure hurtful questions about past family scandals.

It is time to deviate from the potential candidates whose names are already familiar to us and do some research on some of the up and coming potential runners. This will prevent us from voting for the lesser of two evils and allow voters to feel secure in their choices come election time. For a full run down on potential candidates, and Associated Press have put out an interactive guide that highlights the experience level of each potential candidate as well as links to their official twitter accounts. Keeping tabs on potential candidates is important when it comes to making smart decisions.

Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas, was the first to announce a presidential bid this past Monday March 23, but all other potential candidates so far haven’t formally declared themselves as candidates. Many hint at an interest in running by using phrases like“exploring a campaign” (Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin) and “looking at the possibility of running for president,” (Jim Webb, previously a U.S. Senator) prolonging their status as undecided.

It has been speculated that this apprehension in declaring candidacy is a result of campaign finance laws. “Federal campaign finance law has specific rules for people exploring a presidential campaign. These include strict limits on the amount of money the candidates can take from a single donor and restrictions on coordinating with supposedly independent groups like super PACs,” Paul Blumenthal of The Huffington Post said.

Potential candidates won’t be able to hide behind “explorations” for long. Soon their true intentions will be revealed, giving us a clearer view of who is expected to run for the 2016 presidency. The most promising potential candidate is Hillary Clinton, however Clinton found herself in hot water earlier this month when it was revealed that she had been using her personal email account for State Department related correspondence. Clinton’s popularity has seen a decrease since the scandal, however she still took the lead in popularity against all other potential presidential candidates, reports.

Clinton defended her use of her personal email with this statement: “First, the laws and regulations in effect when I was Secretary of State allowed me to use my email for work … under the Federal Records Act, records are defined as reported information, regardless of its form or characteristics, and in meeting the record-keeping obligations, it was my practice to email government officials on their State or other .gov accounts so that the emails were immediately captured and preserved.”

Clinton’s troubles don’t stop there, “Reuters revealed Hillary and Bill Clinton broke the disclosure rules they agreed to with the Obama administration by failing to disclose Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) donors since 2010,” reported. The article also mentions the acceptance of foreign donations by the Clinton Foundation is generating concern that the Clinton Foundation and State Department scandals are related.

As Clinton’s image begins to dwindle, it is important for us to consider other potential candidates. If you take another look at Associated Press’s interactive tool, it is easy to see the credentials of other potential candidates. For example, Rick Santorum (potential Republican candidate) has 12 years experience as a former Pennsylvania State Senator and Martin O’Malley (potential Democratic candidate) has 26 years experience in State and Local Government.

There are many different avenues to explore when it comes to potential candidates of the presidential election and being in the know is very important. I was in Clinton’s corner until I discovered her string of terrible choices and after reviewing Bush’s baggage I decided it was necessary to look elsewhere.

Research into possible candidates, even in this early stage, can benefit you in many ways. The main benefit is that it enables you to make an educated decision on who you choose to vote for when elections roll around next year. Mistakes made this early on in the process are important as they may reveal a more accurate view of the potential candidate’s character than will be available to us during an all out campaign. Read up; elections will be here before you know it.


Sam Allen can be reached at


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