It’s hard to believe but folks are already starting to think about and plan for the 2016 election. I guess it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, elections are big business and the sooner they start the better it is for the lobbyists and consultants. It’s too early to tell which party will have the clear upper hand going in. The last few have alternated between Democrat and Republican. If it were held today I’d give a slight edge to the right, not because they have better ideas or can connect on a personal level with more voters, but because the Dems have been getting too much bad press lately. The repubs did a good job shooting themselves in the foot with the whole shutdown mess, but the Dems have been doing a good job staying a couple steps ahead (or behind). Between the healthcare fiasco, NSA spying, drone attacks, and Benghazi, things have not been going their way. Who knows what will happen over the next couple of years though, things can change pretty fast.
So let’s take a quick look at the top two contenders from each party.
Hilary has been on the national stage for the last 20+ years as the first lady under Bill, senator from New York, and most recently the Secretary of State under Obama. The case could be made, quite convincingly, that she is the most accomplished candidate on this list, with an excellent mix of domestic and foreign credentials. However, no one elicits as strong of a response. You either love Hilary or hate her, there’s not much middle ground. If she’s going to have a legitimate chance of getting elected she’s going to have to appeal to moderates and hard core liberals.
Old Joe is probably the biggest long shot on this list. While he’s got a million dollar smile and a year round tan, his mouth gets him into all sorts of trouble. He is the current VP though so you have to give him a punchers chance. Biden is popular with the working class and has an excellent understanding of foreign affairs. It’s just that his foot and mouth syndrome might not let him get past the primaries.
Marco Rubio is fairly new to the national scene. He’s a republican senator from Florida who’s made a name for himself by reaching across the aisle to work with the Dems on immigration reform. He’s well spoken and comes across as more moderate than a lot of his colleagues. However, he holds some pretty conservative family value beliefs that may make it tough for him to win over women voters, and moderate liberals.
The Governor from New Jersey just won a second term in a historically democratic state. He’s one of the most moderate conservatives in the Republican party and has a reputation for putting politics aside to get things done. He famously (or infamously, depending on where you stand) expressed his appreciation for Obama during hurricane Sandy, just one month before the national election, which the Repubs lost. He may have trouble winning over so called “values voters” because of his left wing views on abortion and gay marriage.
Notice a theme here? These four candidates are all from the moderate group of their party. I think that will be a central theme of 2016. People are tired of extremists like Rand Paul and Ralph Nader. They can’t get elected in a national election even though they have very passionate and vocal voter basis. 2016 will be the year of the moderate. You heard it here first!