Preview of Democratic presidential candidates

By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer

The Democratic Party’s first presidential candidate debate will air on CNN, Oct. 13, at 8:30 p.m..

​The frontrunner is former first lady and  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s campaign began in April of this year, and since then, support for Clinton has decreased dramatically.

In a poll of potential voters conducted by CNN and ORC International in May 2015, 57 percent said that Clinton was untrustworthy.

​This honesty problem for Hillary stems from a scandal about Clinton’s alleged use of her private email to share confidential national security information. This practice of using a private email server for such an important role as secretary of state has garnered heavy criticism from both Republicans and Clinton’s fellow Democrats. Controversy also arose when Clinton admitted to deleting thousands of emails she deemed private and personal information.

Since August, Clinton has seen her support drop from 58 percent of democratic voters to 47 percent, while her biggest challenger, Bernie Sanders, has risen 10 points to 27 percent of the vote from likely democratic voters, according to a Sept.15 CBS News article.

Currently serving as a Vermont senator, Sanders has gained traction by garnering support from voters who are tired of traditional politicians like Clinton. Sanders has concentrated on issues that include reducing income inequality, student debt from college and finance reform in campaigns and lobbying.

Sanders became an independent during his tenure in the Senate and identifies as a democratic- socialist.

The clash between Sanders and Clinton can be highlighted by examining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clinton advocated for the TPP as a means to increase trade between the United States and nations in Asia, and thus increase profits for many corporations in the United States.

According to an Oct. 7 article from The Washington Post, Clinton has recently changed her view on the TPP.

Sanders opposed the TPP from the outset, claiming the cost of taking jobs away from working class citizens would not be worth benefiting profitable corporations.

Aside from Clinton and Sanders, there are four other candidates who have announced they are running. Jim Webb of Virginia, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig are all polling around one percent nationally.

Chafee is a former Republican and governor of Rhode Island who has become more liberal over his tenure in government. Chafee has centered his campaign on reducing military spending by decreasing the amount of United States military presence around the world and promoting peace through diplomacy.

Webb is a former senator from Virginia where he built a reputation for raising taxes to improve infrastructure. Aside from fiscal policy Webb is fairly moderate, having supported conceal and carry laws while opposing immigration reform that would have made amnesty easier for citizens.

Martin O’Malley is a former Maryland governor who became known for raising taxes repeatedly during his tenure as governor. O’Malley was governor of Maryland when the state abolished the death penalty and legalized same-sex marriage. Recently, O’Malley has tried to set himself apart by focusing on bringing aid and shelter to Syrian refugees more than other candidates in the party.

Lessig has centered his entire campaign around drastic reforms to government, the economy, and climate change in order to reduce the huge rates of inequality in the United States. As an outsider to politics, Lessig has thus far been less successful than republicans Donald Trump and Ben Carson at capturing support from Americans who are fed up with politicians.

Lessig and potential nominee, Vice President Joe Biden, will not be participating in the debate. A recent CNN article said that Biden is waiting until later in the month to make clear his intentions in the 2016 race for presidency.

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