It’s been less than a month since Barack Obama gave his eighth State of the Union address, showcasing his plans for the next 12 months in America. However, attention has now shifted towards establishing who will be making an inauguration speech next January.
Whilst the campaigns in both the Republican and the Democrat camps seemingly began several months ago – it seems that we cannot switch on the television for more than a minute without seeing either Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton smiling back at us. Voting in the ten-month long campaign officially started on 1st February, as caucus voters in the state of Iowa went to the polls for the first round of Primary Elections.
Former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz were eventually victorious. Nonetheless, if these Iowa results are anything to go by, then we can be sure of two things in this election: it will be close, and we should expect a few surprises along the way.
Primary Elections ultimately decide the two candidates who will fight for the Presidency come the end of the year as members from both the Democrat and Republican parties choose their preferred candidate for the nomination. These votes happen in all 50 states between February and June, always starting in Iowa in the winter, and concluding in the District of Columbia in the early summer, when the two candidates are officially confirmed.
Polls had, for several weeks, predicted that the fight for the Democrat nomination would be a close one, with the previously relatively unknown candidate Bernie Sanders expected to be in close contest with Clinton; the woman who has been expected to run for the first title of Madam President since she left Obama’s cabinet in 2013.
The Republican vote, on the other hand, was predicted to be an easy win for billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who was expected to take more than 30% of the vote.
Clinton’s victory was eventually secured by less than 1%.
However, just as was true of last year’s British election, opinion polls proved themselves to be unreliable once more and Mr Trump did not perform as well as was expected.
Not only did the ‘front-runner’ lose to Ted Cruz, but he only just survived in second place, less than one percentage point above Marco Rubio: a more moderate candidate who will surely gain greater financial support after this initial success.
As a consequence of these results, the remaining Democratic candidates have officially dropped out of the race, leaving Sanders and Clinton to fight it out for the rest of the campaign
Several Republican candidates, including Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, have also declared themselves out of the race. More interestingly, however, Rick Santorum, second placed Republican in the 2012 election, announced his support for third placed Rubio. Attentions have turned to New Hampshire, where the Primary Elections will be held today.
Most analysts are predicting victories for Bernie Sanders for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans, however, an estimated 40% of voters in the state are, as of yet, undecided.