HomeElectionWhat to know about presidential candidates leading current polls

What to know about presidential candidates leading current polls

Alexis Long

Student Life Editor

With election day right at our front door, emotions are set on high. As the fight to win the 2016 presidential election heats up, some voters may not understand what the candidates are for and against.

With four candidates leading the polls, the opinions are different and may easily confuse voters who may not be caught up.

Republican candidate and businessman, Donald Trump, has hinted at running in the past and has appeared at multiple Conservative Political Action Conferences. Although Trump was a republican before 1999, Trump was a registered Democrat from 2001-2009.

“We want to see people working again,” said Smith County Republican Party volunteer, Scarlett Dill. “We want the things that make this country great and that’s why his motto is, ‘Make America great again,’ because these are the things that made America great.”

Trump has chosen the 50th governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, as his vice presidential candidate.

Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has a different take with her policies.  Clinton has had political experience from her time as secretary of state, the 2008 presidential campaign, and her time in the U.S. Senate from 2000 through 2008.

Smith County Democratic Party Chair, Shirley Falzone, believes Clinton has what it takes to win the election.

“Fresh out of college, she worked with the Children’s Defense Fund, making sure kids were eligible to go to school,” said Falzone. “She’s worked with women’s rights … she, of course, attempted to get us health care when they were first in the White House and she’s done a number of things.”

Junior U.S. Senator Tim Kaine was picked as Clinton’s running mate.

Aside from the two head honchos, this election will also see a representative from the Libertarian party as well as the Green party.

Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, was governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003. Johnson was also the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012, earning just less than one percent of the popular vote. 

His vice presidential nominee is Bill Weld, former republican governor of Massachusetts.

The Green Party’s nominee is Jill Stein, a member of the Lexington, Mass. local government from 2005 to 2011.Stein also played a part in the 2012 presidential election where she came in fourth as the Green party’s candidate.

Her vice presidential nominee is Ajamu Baraka, founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network.

For those who believe their vote doesn’t matter, TJC government professor, Jamie Bitzenhofer, says this is false.

“There have been several races that have been decided by one or two votes. As late as 2008, we actually in Alaska had a race that was determined by one single vote, and so if you’re going into a close election, your vote absolutely matters.”

Voters should also be aware that they can be turned away from voting in Texas if they are sporting campaign gear.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an electioneering ban at polling places, meaning that states had the power to create laws to prevent voter intimidation and ban electioneering around polling places.

According to Texas’ law, a person “may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, political party” within 100 feet of the voting site during early voting or on Election Day.

Texas voters are usually asked to turn their campaign shirts inside out, put on a jacket or come back to vote later if it’s something that cannot be covered.

Read more about the candidates here.

Most Popular