With the Iowa caucus coming up on Monday, Feb. 1, the GOP and Democrat candidates are racing around Iowa to gain last minute votes. Iowa and New Hampshire are the two most important states to gain support from, and if one candidate wins one of those states, they will likely have a spot on the ballot for the election in November of 2016. The front-runner for the GOP appears to be Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are nearly a deadlock with no clear front-runner. Sanders has a lot of media attention for socialist policies which Americans have feared for decades. Trump, on the other hand, also has a lot of positive and negative media attention for unfiltered stances. This is an election like no other; “outsiders” such as Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Carly Fiorina are all non-political figures running for the GOP.
On Thursday, Jan. 29, Fox News hosted the seventh GOP debate of the race, and Trump decided not to attend and host his own rally. Any move Trump makes gains media attention, and whether it is positive or negative, it always helps him gain publicity. All of the GOP debates have been relatively the same thing, just different candidates in different “seeds.” Carson was neck-on-neck with Trump a month ago, and now it is fair to say his campaign is far behind Trump’s and Cruz’s.
The oddity of this election year is that Trump and Sanders are not using Super PAC donations or lobbyist support to fund their campaigns. Super PACs are regulated organizations who raise unlimited funds from people and corporations in order to support or defeat a candidate. They have both opted to use money straight from their profits labeling them as anti-establishment runners. This has proven appealing to citizens but not to media. Washington conservatives, Fox News, Megyn Kelly, and pro-establishment supporters ridicule Trump, so people wonder how an anti-establishment businessman can successfully run without media approval which was a big part of Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
Trump supporters often say that Trump mirrors the beliefs of many conservatives who are too afraid to say the things he says. Trump is comfortable talking smack to media about other candidates and what they believe in, and Trump supporters often feel their voices being reflected. People also are content with the fact that he is a businessman and not a politician. This is the first election in history where outsiders have gained a lot of political traction, and Trump and Sanders fans are both in full support of the anti-establishment movements. At the debate on Thursday night, Megyn Kelly asked Jeb about being in the establishment, and he went on to say, “Look, I’m an establishment because my dad, the greatest man alive, was President of the United States? And my brother who I adore as well, is a fantastic brother, was President? Fine, I’ll take it. And I guess I’m part of the establishment because Barbara Bush is my mom. I’ll take that too.”
The Iowa caucus will reveal the front-runners of the election; the primaries, collectively, are a rolling snowball with several including North Carolina’s coming up in March. Sanders and Trump supporters have found some common ground — that is they both collectively agree that Secretary Clinton’s election needs to be squashed because they both dislike her voting inconsistency and policies. However, the race is still close, and any candidate from both parties has a reasonable chance at representing any state for their party.