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It has been an interesting summer for American Politics to say the least. We have seen the debate on gun ownership continue on with more college and public shootings, the US Senate became the latest battleground in the fight over planned parenthood and abortion rights of women across the country, and US Foreign policy taking a shift towards smart power as opposed to hard power by striking a deal with Iran over there nuclear ambitions. Despite all these huge issues there has been one news story that has stood head and shoulders above the rest; Donald Trump is running to be the Presidential candidate for the Republicans. And it is on the topic of the Presidential Race that I will be focussing on in this look at the current state of U.S. Politics.
Let’s start with the 15 Republican candidates – yes, 15 of them. The large number however has not been the focus of attention and jokes about the debates thus far, that focus has been taken by Donald Trump. Be it his larger than life personality or perhaps his questionable views on the US/Mexican Border he has been the leading candidate coming out of the first two debates. His rallies are drawing huge numbers and his bandwagon keeps on growing and is currently polling far ahead of his peers. Across t http://gty.im/477326258
he vast number of polls and surveys he has been polling comfortably in the 25% – 35% bracket. http://gty.im/477326258
His closest rival so far has proven to be Dr. Ben Carson who has been polling in the more modest 15% – 20% bracket but has not gone without criticism. For example, he has been condemned for his views on how students should respond to a rogue shooter in their College and has become a popular joke of the new Daily Show host Trevor Noah due to his quiet and slow speaking voice (which is the most well known aspect of the aspiring president for those outside US Political circles). Even his celebrity endorsement from none other than Rupert Murdoch has attracted critics due to the businessman saying Carson would be the first ‘real black president‘. More recently however Dr. Carson has perhaps committed political suicide by suspending his campaign to pursue his own book tour. So between book tours and building walls to keep out the Mexicans, the Republican presidential race has been as controversial and fascinating to watch as you would expect.
In contrast however, the Democratic presidential race has been far more low-key. They had their first debate last week in Las Vegas with Hilary Clinton the pre-race favourite appearing for the first time alongside the ever increasingly popular Bernie Sanders who has drawn huge attention for his open Democratic Socialist stance as well as his apparent anti-establishment stance with his attacks on Wall Street well documented and his campaign being entirely funded by donations from the public. He has attracted a huge youth following due to his belief in free College tuition and legalising soft core drugs such as marijuana in addition to celebrity endorsement from non other than Seth MacFarlane.
Referring back to the first Democratic debate that was held in Las Vegas last week we were also introduced to the fringe candidates o’Malley, Chafee and Webb, as well as the rampant speculation that current Vice-President Joe Biden would throw his hat in the ring which (at the time of writing) he not yet done. Hillary Clinton has seen her poll ratings decline in recent weeks, at the start of the summer she was polling in the 60%’s, now she is currently polling around 40%-45% with Bernie Sanders rising into the 30% bracket.
Quick-fire online polls after the first debate suggested that many viewers saw Bernie Sanders was the stand out winner. Sanders was the winner among 75% of viewers, and Clinton was as low as 18% (as expected the fringe candidates polled 1%-3% among themselves). It is early days yet but the battle between Sanders and Clinton could replicate that of Obama/Clinton in 2008 and opens the fascinating prospect of a Sanders vs. Trump ticket come November 2016 – a far cry from the predicted ticket of Clinton vs. Bush many people expected prior to this summer.
So, as you can see, it is a thrilling time to be an observer of U.S. Politics and (depending on your political persuasion) either an exciting or terrifying time to be living in the United States. Come back in a fortnight’s time to check in with more U.S. news and updates to broaden your own personal interests or perhaps to sound cultured and smart to your family and friends.