Most would agree that America values competition because, in almost any setting, it encourages higher-quality output. And while there are sure to be record-breaking numbers of politicians vying for the executive office this cycle, we can already conclude that there are no universally accepted nominees for either party.
I’ve asked a few of our contributors here at TCC to weigh in with their thoughts which potential ticket has the best chance to win their party’s respective nominations. Please keep in mind that these are not endorsements, nor are they necessarily preferences. They are, however, predictions. Feel free to weigh in by voting for which of these three tickets you’d prefer to see at the bottom.
Contributor Matt Dragonette:
Bernie Sanders stands to do well in the primaries with serious progressives, barring an Elizabeth Warren run. Sanders has proven to be socially and economically liberal and has the finances to jump start a Presidential campaign. If Democrat enthusiasm is tempered, the field will skew to the left. That fact, coupled with Hillary Clinton under fire, will make Sanders the party favorite by April 2016. A message of economic populism will be the Democratic message in 2016 if Sanders is chosen. Christine Gregoire, the former two-term governor of Washington, is a bit of a dark horse candidate. She was popular, effective, has a good-story background, and was a female executive. She is more moderate than Sanders, and was able to broker deals with Republicans in the State House.
John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, is well experienced. His down-to-earth conservatism — one expounding American values of hard work, determination, and prudence — has the potential to resonate with Americans if he is given the light of day. His industrial town background combined with a variety of Congressional, gubernatorial, and business experience makes him an attractive candidate. He provides Republicans with a strong fiscal message, a variety of experience, and speech that is encouraging, inclusive, and uplifting. Certainly, his record in Congress will be scrutinized, but if he is as genuine as he appears, Kasich is the Republican’s best hope in 2016. Marco Rubio, the popular conservative Senator from swing-state Florida (except on immigration, perhaps), has a Cuban-American background, a great story, and is an excellent speaker. Rubio has conservative credentials that complement Kasich nicely.
Contributor Mitch Hall:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s immense popularity among Democrats, even with an abysmal record in the State Department and the plethora of scandals that have followed the Clintons, is a strong indicator that there are few things she can do to dissuade Democrats from wanting to vote for her. At this point, there are really no other potential candidates half as popular as Hillary among the general Democratic population. Martin O’Malley, former Democrat Governor of Maryland, is similar to Joe Biden in the sense that both are well-known and generally well-liked Democratic figures.
Scott Walker is one of least polarizing potential GOP candidates. He boasts a strong record of accomplishments, which are even more impressive due to his governorship being in a very “purple” state. He has maintained high levels of popularity while sticking to conservative principles, and has the charisma and public speaking skills to compete for the presidency. Susana Martinez is a popular Republican governor with a name that’s recognized beyond her state’s boundaries. The fact that she’s a Hispanic woman could give her the opportunity to reach out to voting blocs Republicans typically have trouble mobilizing. She’s charismatic, has a strong conservative record, and has been successful in a swing-state.
Editor Elizabeth Marcello:
Hillary Clinton is too determined to extend her power and I do not think there are any scandals that would prevent liberals from voting for her. I also see way too many “Ready for Hillary” bumper stickers around on cars and laptops, and for reasons of pride, many of these individuals will prefer not to backtrack and switch candidates. I believe Julián Castro will be Clinton’s running mate. She knows there is a good chance the Republicans will put a Spanish-speaking candidate on the ticket and will not want to lose any of that voting base to the GOP.
Republicans will nominate Marco Rubio for president. Not only is he a powerful speaker, but he appeals to more moderates than some of the more right-wing candidates, and has eloquently spoken on issues ranging from ISIS to immigration. Carly Fiorina will be chosen to run alongside him because she, too, is gifted in her speech and is known for her leadership in business. Additionally, female Republicans across the country are looking to find a strong female on the GOP ticket.