A Very Dynamic Republican Field
With discussions ranging from personal endowment, to forcing Mexico to build a wall, to bringing back waterboarding or worse, Trump has gained America’s attention; especially the attention of those who are looking for an end to excessive political correctness and establishment politics. Ted Cruz and John Kasich, on the other hand, offer more classical conservative options. Cruz has gained votes as other conservatives have dropped out of the race, and Kasich, while an underdog, has impressed his place in the race, winning all 66 delegates in his home state of Ohio.
These presidential candidates have butted heads in each presidential debate, and for a variety of reasons, ranging from the personal to political. Their stances on the issues have evolved over time. For instance, Trump has become more conservative, while Kasich has become more moderate over the years.
Trump and Cruz both want to stop illegal immigration, and send illegals back to where they came from; whereas Kasich has often expressed approval for legal paths to citizenship.
Cruz proposes a postcard-sized flat tax. Kasich’s perspective is simple: cut taxes, and improve the economy. Trump views are comparable, in that he wants to simplify and reduce taxes overall, though he has conceded that the 'super-rich' could afford to be taxed more. Nonetheless, each candidate agrees that the size of the federal government needs to shrink.
On social issues
All candidates are resolutely pro-life and against same-sex marriage; the exception is Kasich, who has acknowledged the Supreme Court's decision regarding LGBT rights, asserting that the Republican Party needs to move on. With respect to socialized healthcare, Cruz is against the Affordable Care Act, whereas Kasich and Trump have both expressed more moderate views concerning the expansion of government subsidized healthcare.
On foreign policy
Each of the candidates has shown staunch support for the state of Israel. While Trump supports US intervention in foreign affairs, especially in combating terrorism, he believes in limited troop deployments - relying rather on regional alliances to achieve American military objectives. Kasich also believes in U.S. intervention, though he too favors short-term engagements. Cruz is simultaneously isolationist and interventionist. While his disdain toward the persecution, and systematic killing of Christians in the Middle East is apparent, he ranks America’s safety highest on his list of priorities, and thus favors more strategic engagements.
A Republican Presidency
Trump has been unclear on how he plans to make change, claiming that he will reveal much of his plans when he becomes president. His talking points on illegal immigration, and terrorism, for instance, appeal to voters with simplicity: kick out illegals, and get the terrorists. Cruz has also been criticized for a lack of transparency concerning the details of his plans, especially concerning his “flat tax” plan. Kasich, on the other hand, emphasizes his prior experience compared to his competitors, and has been working on a plan to balance the U.S. budget. Regardless of which Republican may become president, conservative values like traditional marriage and pro-life would be supported.
The GOP does not want Trump to get the nomination, but he is definitely the front-runner. Here are what the voters have to say: Trump has 678 delegates, Cruz 423, and Kasich a meager 143. According to Rasmussen’s continuing phone surveys of likely Republican primary voters, Trump garners the support of 43%, Cruz 28%, and Kasich with 21%. The chances of Cruz or Kasich gaining enough momentum to surpass Trump is slim, but the race is far from over.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images: Geoff Robins