Earlier this spring, I reported to ERA’s Board that the 2016 presidential election had kicked off early. My thoughts on the race were simple. Press coverage of the campaign had begun to fill the vacuum left by Congressional dysfunction and inactivity. Further, in DC it just felt like President Obama had prematurely entered the lame duck portion of his presidency.
In the absence of action on policy, the press had turned to horse-race coverage of the next presidential election for good reason.
There has been a lot of breathless coverage of Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) momentum, message, and appeal to the Democratic base. It is a story that will sell a lot of papers. However, Hillary Clinton is a near lock for the Democratic nomination. She continues to be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party’s hopes in 2016. Yes, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is in the race as is Former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). At this point it is difficult to envision a realistic pathway for either to obtain the nomination. So for better or worse it is Hillary 2016 barring a complete political implosion.
The Free for All
In stark contrast, the 2016 GOP nomination is a free for all unprecedented in the modern era. Here is a pictograph of some of the hopefuls:
At least 24 names have surfaced so far. The “serious” cohort of Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio had to some degree pulled away from the larger pack of competitors in the spring. However, the sheer volume of candidates vying for attention has created a carnival-like atmosphere, where showmanship has trumped substance so far.
Trump for President?
As any great showman would, Donald Trump recognized the opening and acted. Now he is surging in the latest polls. On Sunday, CNN had Trump leading with 18 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush was second with 15 percent, and Scott Walker finished a distant third with 10 percent.
That wasn’t supposed to happen but it did.
Will Trump win the Republican nomination? Will he make it to the Oval Office?
Time will tell.
The road to the White House is long and there are plenty of stumbling blocks along the way. It is clear, however, that Donald Trump will continue to impact the GOP race going forward.
We will track Election 2016 developments as they unfold and report on any candidate’s position that could affect direct response marketers moving forward.
Frankly, I did not expect to be blogging about the 2016 election so early. I didn’t expect this recent surge by Donald Trump either.