It is still nearly 9 months for the US elections to take place, but things have begun to heat up on the election front. The Iowa Caucuses that were held on February 1, 2016, kicked off the election nomination process. The coming days will see more caucuses and primaries being organized in the rest of the American states. However, here are certain points that need to be taken into consideration about the 2016 US Presidential elections.
US Presidential elections are a time consuming affair
The US Presidential elections really take a long time before the people see a new President in the White House. But what is it that makes the process so long? America has two main political parties – Republican and Democratic. These parties choose their respective nominees through contests that are state sponsored and held in all the 50 states of the US and its territories. The process begins in February with the Iowa Caucus, followed by the New Hampshire Primary. After these two early states, others follow with their own caucuses and primaries. Once a party has chosen its candidate, the rest of the year is spent campaigning until November 8, the day when the elections are held. The Iowa Caucus was held on February 1 and the New Hampshire will follow next on February 9 with its first Primary.
US Elections and Outsiders
Every US election sees an outsider taking part. Outsiders are basically novices – ones who have never held public office. However, the 2016 US Presidential elections are witnessing the entry of four outsiders and these include – Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Carly Fiorina.
US Elections are quite Expensive
The US elections are very expensive and perhaps the reason for this is that they take a whole lot of time to get over. The United States is a huge country and it costs a lot to reach out to people all over the country, especially in competitive media markets such as Florida and New York. Though many countries around the world set a time limit for campaigning to begin, but in the US there is no such time limit. Here a candidate can begin as early as he wants. Take for instance Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator who announced that he was running for the US Presidential elections in March 2015. This is a good one year and eight months before November 8, the day elections take place in the US.
Another factor that sets the US elections apart from that of other countries and makes it a bit expensive is that here no limit has been placed on how much a candidate is supposed to spend on his or her election campaign. Bernie Sanders has spent $12.8 million during his campaign so far, while Hillary Clinton has spent $11.6 million. She has utilized $200,000 from the Priorities USA Super PAC. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has spent $1.9 million directly from his campaign, while outside groups have aided in bringing the total expenditure to $4.2 million. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who like Sanders is not accepting Super PAC funds and is self funding his campaign has spent $4 million.
Iowa and New Hampshire set the ball rolling
The Iowa Caucus on February 1 witnessed a tough competition between the top three contenders – Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. In the end, Ted Cruz emerged victorious with 28 percent of the votes, Donald Trump came second with 24 percent of the vote and Macro Rubio got 23 percent of the support. The other candidates were far behind.
However, Iowa and New Hampshire are just two of the 50 states of the United States of America, yet they garner unprecedented media attention. Why these two states are accorded so much importance? The fact is that Iowa is the first state that organizes a caucus, followed by New Hampshire, which is the first state that holds a primary. Though the voters in these two states that vote in the caucus and primaries are just a fraction of the entire voting population of the United States, however, they play a very valuable role in the nomination process. The results of these two states provide a glimpse into the popularity and momentum of the candidates and many times it has been observed that the candidates who perform poorly drop out after the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire Primary.
2016 US Presidential Election Candidates
The candidates to watch out for on the Republican side include:
Donald Trump: The President of Trump Organization announced his decision to run for the US Presidential elections in June, 2015. During these past eight months, the brash presidential candidate has kept the Twiterrati on its toes with his attention seeking comments.
Ted Cruz: Ted Cruz, who beat Donald Trump at the Iowa Caucus, became the first candidate to announce his presidency bid in March 2015.
Candidates to watch out for on the Democratic side
Hillary Clinton: The former first lady at the White House, she lost the 2008 Democratic primary to Barack Obama. The wife of former President Bill Clinton is seen somewhat as a continuation of Obama.
Bernie Sanders: Sanders has worked as a carpenter, writer and has taught at Harvard and Hamilton College. He was selected to the Senate in 2006.
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