The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Party predictions for 2016

Last week, the Republican Party took complete control of Capitol Hill.

Additionally, the blue governors’ seats in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois were taken by conservative candidates.

Simply put, the GOP crushed the Democratic Party in a manner reminiscent of the Democratic pulverizing President Bush in 2006.

While it would be easy to speculate on whether or not gridlock will continue (quite likely), a much more exciting discussion is one that focuses on the 2016 presidential election.

That being said, here are my five things to look for in two years.

Who will the Republicans pick to run?

In the current political landscape, one feature is painfully obvious: Republicans tear each other apart in the primary stage of the nomination process.

Look for a moderate candidate, such as Paul Ryan or Chris Christie, to clash with more extreme candidates like Libertarian favorite Rand Paul or Tea Party all-star Ted Cruz.

Expect this fight to go deep into the late rounds before anyone emerges victorious.

Will Hillary run? While Mrs. Clinton has definitely shown interest, one has to wonder if she’s up for another serious run at the presidency.

Not only could age be a factor, as she will turn 69 Nov. 8, 2016, but Mrs. Clinton is also much less attractive to the progressive base of the Left than would be preferred.

Expect a more progressive candidate, most likely Elizabeth Warren, to make Hillary work for a nomination that she will ultimately receive.

If Hillary decides to run, how will women vote?

In the first electoral field to feature a female nominee for president, one has to wonder if female voters would flock to Hillary in the same way black voters flocked to then Senator Barack Obama in 2008.

Expect a split in favor of Mrs. Clinton, but nothing like the 96 percent that President Obama got six years ago.

Fourth, will black voters continue to turn out at record rates for Democrats?

As mentioned above, President Obama received 96 percent of the black vote in 2008, a percentage that appears to be unmatchable for any candidate whose name doesn’t end in King, Jr.

If they don’t match this, or at least come close, it’s reasonable to say that the Democratic coalition of blacks, Latinos and women will fall apart at the polls.

No predictions here, but the Democrats need to make sure that they can motivate a group that, aside from 2008 and 2012, has been chronically uninvolved in American politics.

How will Millennials vote, or will we not vote at all?

While it is common knowledge that Millennials tend to lean to the Left, that could soon be challenged by a Republican Party that is developing roots within the newest goldmine in American politics, while also becoming more socially relaxed.

That being said, getting Millennials to the polls is hard enough, and doing so would provide a much-needed boost to either party.

Until these questions can be resolved, I suggest that we wait to see where the Dems choose to host their National Convention.

Let’s all pray that it isn’t Birmingham.

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Party predictions for 2016