2016 Presidential Race: Year of the Outsider

While the two presidential candidates couldn’t be further apart on the issues; Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have one thing in common: both are playing the “outsider” card in an effort to appeal to Americans who are fed up with traditional government, says realpolitics.com.

According to campaign experts, Trump has dominated the polls for months now and continues to pick up steam due to his unbridled style of speech and lack of affiliation to what voters view as a broken system in Washington D.C. While on the Democratic side, Berney is considered successful for simply contending with Hillary Clinton, whom commentators had assumed would win her party’s nomination uncontested.

Currently, candidates are focused on amassing enough delegates to win their party’s nomination in July. Trump is well on his way with now 1,053 delegates, considerably more than runner-up Ted Cruz. Sanders has accumulated an impressive 1,401 delegates, yet he faces a greater challenge in keeping up with Clinton who already has 2,205 delegates. Ultimately, 1,237 delegates are required to win the Republican nomination, and 2,382 to win with the Democrats.

Analysts believe that Trump appeals to voters who are fed-up with the Obama administration and on-going squabbles in the House and Senate. On the other hand, Sanders has won over the youth and minority of America with his plans for redistribution of wealth and cost free access to higher education. Although Clinton has won more delegates, Sanders is still viewed as successful by political pundits who ruled him out from the start.

Peter Rex, Professor of Political Science at SPSCC, states that, “As a Political Scientist, I’ve been totally fascinated by the rise of Donald Trump.” Rex attributes the candidate’s success to his ability to appeal to the anger of voters. “Another part is that he is very skilled with free media,” said Rex, in recognition of Trump’s uncanny ability to capitalize on the fervor surrounding controversial statements that he has made.

According to student Andrew Eastman, Trump is successful because, “He speaks loudly to people who have watched our government falter to its knees.” Eastman views government as being too intrusive in citizen’s daily lives. He states, “[Trump’s] message resonates with people who are fed up with politicians.” Polling supports this theory, with the numbers reflecting an ever increasing mistrust in government, according to Real Clear Politics.

Sanders also benefits from voter discontentment with government. According to berniesanders.com, his plans would dramatically alter the way governmental policies affect people’s lives. Along with improving college accessibility, Sanders has introduced plans which would increase taxation on the nation’s top earners. “[Sanders] appeals to people’s sense of anger as well, just in a different way,” states Rex, “that the people have been ripped off, and that the system is rigged.” Rex views Sanders, like Trump, as capitalizing on the emotional unrest of Americans.

Two candidates, one from each party, will be given nominations in July, at which point the race to the White House enters its’ final stage and things become even more heated. In the media, people from all walks of life have weighed in on the unique nature of the Trump and Sanders campaigns. Both men have successfully carved out large pockets of supporters who are loyal beyond belief says Real Clear Politics. It will be very interesting to see if this support is enough to do the job in July.

 

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/usa-election-democracy-voting-806576/ by ZIPNON