opinions - republicans - caroline
Too Many Republican Candidates Leads to Confusion and an Unlikely Presidential Win in 2016

by Caroline Wisner

You’re probably aware of the overwhelming amount of Republican candidates running for president in 2016. You most likely know some of the front runners names, but can you name all of them?

I tested Walkersville High School students on their ability to name all of the Republican candidates, by compiling an album of pictures of all fifteen candidates on my phone and then asking students to identify each one.

Sophomore Leah Sine identified Marco Rubio and Ben Carson then continued to swipe through the other candidates with a confused expression. When she finally reached Donald Trump she triumphantly said, “That’s Trump!”, and continued to talk about his choice in hair pieces.

Some students took the challenge on with confidence, like sophomore Will Anderson, who identified 13 out of 15 candidates, only missing Jim Gilmore and George Pataki.

Personally, I think there are too many candidates fighting for the Republican nomination. It’s way too overwhelming to follow all fifteen candidates. You have to be extremely invested in politics to actually know every single person’s platform.

Sophomore Riley Gillard said, “Most of the candidates don’t even have 10% of the vote in polls, which means it’s going to take way too long for all of them to gather support.” Freshman Shayyan Shaikh agreed with Gillard, stating, “There can only be one president, so it’s going to be extremely difficult for voters to narrow it down.”

Even though most candidates have the same offensive views, there are slight variations. They might be small, but somehow the candidates can turn them into dramatic onstage arguments.

At the second round of Republican debates, a contrast of opinions was revealed between George Pataki and Mike Huckabee over the Kim Davis incident. If you don’t remember the major story, Davis, a county clerk, refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because it didn’t follow her “religious beliefs”.

During the second debate, Pataki stated, “If she worked for me I would have fired her…we have to uphold the rule of law.” Huckabee countered this, saying jailing Davis was “criminalizing her faith.”

It’s interesting to see both some variation in opinions and to hear that at least one Republican candidate understands what it means to have a division of church and state.

Sophomore Jonathan Rushbrook thinks the problem is deeper than the mass amount of candidates fighting for the nomination, “The GOP is in shambles, because there are way too many different sects and groups within it. Republican voters become so confused.”

Some students couldn’t tell the difference between candidates, most likely because the majority are old white men. Junior Bridey O’Connor agreed, “They all look the same, except for Trump.”

The dynamic of the Republican party greatly contrasts with Democrats, who are much more organized. Most Democratic candidates have more support than Republicans. Since there is such a diverse group of candidates, it’s easy for voters to follow along and choose who they would like to see as president.