While the next US presidential election isn’t officially until 2016, American citizens have been bombarded by a number of candidates, both Democrat and Republican, looking to garner the highly sought-after official nomination to be their party’s runner. From high-profile celebrity business owners to career politicians, here are the top presidential candidate profiles you should know for each party, and where they stand on hot-button issues:

Jeb Bush

John Ellis Bush (a.k.a Jeb), brother of former president George W. Bush and son of former president George H. W. Bush. Jeb, who has been in politics for a while, served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. Bush does believe in climate change; he is a firm supporter of the controversial Common Core; he’s for expanded gun rights; he wants to strengthen ties with Israel and deny any kind of nuclear deal with Iran; he’s against abortions after 20 weeks and he opposes tax increases. Learn more about Bush’s political stance here

Ben Carson

Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon. Carson has no formal political experience. He has served on a number of boards for corporations, but his professional experience and time have been spent in medicine. Carson is against abortions after 20 weeks; he’s against legalized recreational marijuana (he does concede that there are benefits of medical marijuana); he believes that climate change is cyclical and that debating climate change is unnecessary; he believes that undocumented residents should leave the country and then be allowed back through a “guest worker” program as long as they leave; he believes that all residents of the U.S. have the right to own guns unless they’re mentally ill or criminals. You can find more about Carson’s political views here.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz has a background in law. A Texas senator, he’s only been in politics since 2013. Born in Canada to an American mother, Cruz is legally allowed to run for president. He wants a balanced budget, but he wants to slash corporate tax rates and abolish federal subsidies for renewable fuels; Cruz wants to end Common Core; he opposes net neutrality and Obamacare; he thinks its up to the states on same sex marriage; and he’s spent a lot of time trying to make it more difficult for women to get abortions throughout the country and in Texas. You can learn more about Cruz’s political views here.

Carly Fiorina

A background in business, Carly Fiorina was CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005. This is not her first run for a government position: Fiorina ran for a US Senate seat for California in 2010 (she did not win). Fiorina believes in climate change, but doesn’t believe government can do a lot about it; she is against Obamacare and wants to make health insurance more competitive; she believes abortion should be illegal and that Roe v. Wade should be repealed. Fiorina is against net neutrality and she believes in passing the DREAM Act. You can find out more about Fiorina’s stance here.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is likely one of the most well-known candidates running for the Republican nomination. Donald Trump is the son of wealthy real estate developer, Fred Trump. Far from modest, Trump has been leading in the polls since he declared his candidacy. Trump’s made it known that he greatly dislikes the number of undocumented residents and wants to build a wall along the Mexico border. Trump also believes climate change is a hoax; he wants to cut government spending; he currently believes in the right to life and is against same-sex marriage. You can view more of Trump’s stance here.

Hillary Clinton

As popular as Trump for her well-known history, Hillary Rodham Clinton is no novice to politics. Wife of former president Bill Clinton, she served as President Obama’s Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 and as a US Senator of New York from 2001 to 2009. Clinton is for abortion; she’d like to close tax loopholes and lower taxes on the middle class. Clinton wants to see immigration reform and she is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You can find out more about Clinton’s views here.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has been taking the Democrats by storm. Sanders has served as US Senator of Vermont since 2007, and before that he served in the House of Representatives for 16 years. Sanders is a self-confessed Democratic socialist: he has strong views on climate change and the role the US has played in it; he wants Americans to have access to free college; he wants to break up big banks and raise taxes on the wealthy; and Sanders strongly opposes unneeded wars. Find out more about Sanders’s political views here.


What issues matter most to you? Do you think some of the candidates avoid certain issues because of how polarizing they are? What issues should the candidates be discussing more often?




Brittany Valli
Brittany Valli
Crafting stories from a young age, Brittany was destined to be a writer (well, she thinks so). When she's not working on various novels, short stories or screenplays, she can be found exploring Oregon's many landscapes with her husband, tasting some of the best wine, beer and food Oregon has to offer, relaxin' in a hammock, walking her dogs, or laughing at jokes only she thinks are funny. You can find more about Brittany here: brittanyrvalli.weebly.com (it's a work in progress)