Which 2016 Presidential Candidate Should We Vote For?


Nigel Parry for CNN

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

Brandon Wagenfeld, Author


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The candidates running for president this year are undoubtedly polarizing. Insiders, outsiders, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Conservatives, Liberals, Libertarian, Authoritarian. They are all different.

 All of the teachers and even some of the students here at Blaine High School will be able to vote in the election this November. The question is, who should we vote for?

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Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party

 Hillary Clinton, after being nominated as the Democratic Party’s choice for president, rode the positive momentum naturally produced for candidates after their party’s convention. Also being boosted by controversial statements from Republican Donald Trump, she secured double digit leads in several “battleground states,” before scandals involving emails and her foundation, as well as a publicized bout with pneumonia brought her poll numbers down.

 Although she has received a boost since the first debate, the race is still close with one month left before the election, and nothing is certain.

Clinton is still criticized for her lack of transparency and her affiliations with several Super-PACs, which has lead to her being portrayed negatively as a corrupt political insider. Despite this, she claims to want to take money out of politics, and curb financing from special interests, as well as increase transparency.

She has also been criticized by many liberals, including Bernie Sanders supporters for not sticking with her constituents.

Hillary Clinton is somewhat progressive, though many liberals view her as too far right, or too conservative. If you are very liberal or if you are anti-establishment, she is probably not your choice, However, if you are strictly a Democrat or if you simply don’t want a Donald Trump presidency, then she is your choice.

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Donald Trump, Republican Party

Donald Trump has gained widespread support from Americans who feel like the economy is failing them and establishment politicians have left them behind. He has also gained notoriety, for his “bigoted” remarks concerning Muslims, illegals immigrants, women, African-Americans, and the disabled. Trump also pushed the birther movement for a long time, until dismissing it just weeks ago.

Trump has been viewed as the opposite of Hillary Clinton in many ways. While Clinton is viewed as an “establishment insider,” Trump is viewed as an outsider.

With the exception of her “basket of deplorables” remark in reference to Trump supporters, Clinton is calculated and careful with what she says, while Trump has been known to speak without thinking, prominent examples being his claiming that Obama was the founder of ISIS, illegal immigrants are rapists and murderers, and that a former presidential candidate’s father was associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Overall, public perception of Donald Trump is mixed, often due to his inconsistency. For example he’s an isolationist when it comes to trade and immigration, but he’s an interventionist when it comes to foreign policy. He has been known to change positions on issues spontaneously, an example being abortion, where he had seven different positions over the course of one week, one involving punishment for women receiving the operation.

Trump has also been known to exaggerate or make up facts, often flat out lying. Some have considered him to be an even worse liar than Hillary Clinton.

Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns, and only offered a doctor’s note as proof of his “good health.” He also refused to disclose certain plans and policies, most notably his plan for defeating ISIS.

Despite the negativity that Trump has garnered, he has given voice to people that have not had much of a voice in politics.

To sum it up, if you are part of Donald Trump’s base, you will obviously be voting for him. If you are dissatisfied with the establishment, he may seem like a good candidate to vote for, but try looking into his record before making that decision.

If you are a Republican no matter what, Trump is your guy. If you have traditionally voted Republican, but you will not vote for Trump, you may want to consider voting for Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson, or Independent Evan McMullin.

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Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party

 Gary Johnson has gained support from Democrats and Republicans who refuse to support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. He is especially popular among millennials who previously supported Bernie Sanders. As a Libertarian, he is progressive on social issues and conservative on economic issues.

His poll numbers have decreased in the past few weeks, due to multiple gaffes, including his asking, “What is Aleppo?” in response to a question about the epicenter of Syria’s civil war and the fight against ISIS. He was also unable to answer a question about who his favorite foreign leader.

Though he was incapable of answering several foreign policy questions, Johnson has been attempting to prove his knowledge on that issue. Many people will likely be considering giving him a second chance after a tape of Donald Trump making lewd and predatory remarks about women was leaked, leading many Republicans to bail on him. After all, Libertarians have historically garnered support from both former Democrats and Republicans.


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Jill Stein, Green Party

Although Jill Stein is only on the ballot in 44 states (and as a write-in option in NC, IN, and GA), she has gained support from Bernie Sanders supporters who are dissatisfied with Clinton’s campaign, albeit a very small percentage (she is polling between 2% and 3% nationally). Stein is known as being very far-left, arguably more so than Sanders.

As a candidate for the Green Party, she has focused largely on environmental issues in an election where climate change has rarely been mentioned.

Jill Stein has no gotten much publicity from the media, mainly due to low poll numbers, and lack of “mediaworthy” mistakes.

If you are fairly liberal, she is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, who has taken somewhat conservative positions on issues, such as foreign policy. If you supported Bernie Sanders during the primaries, Stein is a good candidate, taking similar positions to Sanders on most issues. If you have been dissatisfied with the coverage of climate change, she is good candidate to vote for, as she is the only one who has frequently mentioned it. If you are anyone else, she might not appeal to you.

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Evan McMullin, Independent

 Evan McMullin started his candidacy this August, as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. McMullin is on the ballot in 12 states, including Minnesota, and is available as a write-in candidate in 18 others.

 Evan McMullin is unlikely to win any electoral votes, but is hoping for electoral deadlock, where neither Clinton nor Trump would receive the necessary 270 electoral votes, where the Supreme Court will then vote him in as president. The likelihood of him securing an electoral vote is low, but he may gain support from conservative women in the aftermath of the leaking Trump’s Access Hollywood tape.

 If you are a Republican who cannot stand Trump, but you are not a Libertarian, McMullin may be the way to go.

Other Candidates

 There are several other candidates on the ballot. These include Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, a far-right party, Roque De La Fuente, a progressive of the Reform Party, Alyson Kennedy of the Social Workers Party, and Dan R. Vacek of Legalize Marijuana Now. All of these candidates currently hold less than 1% in Minnesota’s polls.

Candidates on the Issues

Note: If you cannot read the text in the images, increase the zoom in your browser or right click, then click ‘open image in new tab.’




*NAFTA = North American Free Trade Agreement

TPP = Trans-Pacific Partnership

Aristocracy/Inheritance Tax = tax imposed on someone who inherits property or money


So, if you’re a Minnesotan. or anyone in the United States, your options aren’t just limited to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Choose wisely. The future of the United States is in your hands.

Who do you think will win the 2016 US election?

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