The first republican debate was held in Cleveland, Ohio in August. The central topic in the debate was border control. This agenda was aimed at conservative voters. The debate had ten candidates. This number of candidates was significantly higher than that of the democrats. The candidates included Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and John Kasich. The issues the candidates focused on were mainly border control, and ISIS. For example, Jeb Bush stated that, Americans should be free to choose who comes into America. Donald Trump opposed this by saying he would stop immigration completely. On the other hand, Scott walker did not offer any specific convictions on the matter but simply said he was willing to listen to Americans.
Among the republican candidates, majority were establishment candidates. They included, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. These candidates had extensive experience in leadership. Also, they provided compelling arguments which had gained popularity with republicans. The outsiders included Donald Trump and Ben Carson. These two candidates were viewed as outsiders by members of the Republican Party because of their lack of experience in the leadership.
The first democratic debate was held in Las Vegas in October. The central topic in the debate was immigration. The debate on immigration was focused on democrats. The debate had five candidates. The candidates included, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin OMalley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. The candidates focused on foreign policy and immigration. For example, OMalley stated that he was focused on forging a consensus as opposed to following the opinion of the public. On the other hand, Hillary Clintons arguments mainly encouraged military intervention. Bernie Sanders argued extensively on his decision to oppose the immigration reform back in 2007.
Among the candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were viewed as the partys establishment candidates. This is because the two have had extensive political careers within the government and the party. Also, a candidate such as Hillary Clinton is renowned among many people because of her last name. Martin OMalley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee were viewed as outsiders because they were not well known among members of the Democratic Party. Also, compared to Clinton and Sanders, the three candidates appeared inferior in terms of their experience.
These debates played a vital role in the primary election process. They aided the public in choosing whom they thought was the best candidate based on his or her agenda. Previously, part insiders used to elect the candidate who would represent the party in the general elections (Norrander, 2015). However, the primary elections provided all party members in the public with the right to vote their preferred candidate. Hence, the primary election process is more democratic than that of election by party insiders.
If Republican Party insiders elected their preferred candidates in the 2016 primaries, I think they would still have nominated Donald Trump. Donald Trumps arguments were unique but at the same time, they portrayed conservative views. Also, Trump was popular among majority of the republicans. As regards to the Democratic Party, I think party insiders would still have nominated Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has had extensive experience in the leadership and as a democrat. Hence, compared to her competitors, she would serve as a better candidate.
Norrander, B. (2015). The Imperfect Primary: Oddities, Biases, and Strengths of US Presidential Nomination Politics. Routledge.
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