United States presidential election, 2016

United States presidential election, 2016 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States presidential election, 2016

United States presidential election, 2016
United States
2012 ←
November 8, 2016 → 2020
538 members of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win

Electoral College 2016.svg

The electoral map for the 2016 election, based on populations from the 2010 census

Incumbent President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will elect a new president and vice president through the Electoral College. The term limit established in the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the incumbent President, Barack Obama, from being elected to a third term.

The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses is taking place between February 1 and June 2016, staggered among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. This nominating process is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who then in turn elect their party's presidential nominee.

BackgroundEdit

Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that for a person to be elected and serve as President of the United States, the individual must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for a period of no less than 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the various political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. The primary elections are usually indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The general election in November is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.

The incumbent, President Barack Obama, a Democrat and former U.S. Senator from Illinois, is ineligible to seek reelection to a third term due to restrictions of the Twenty-second Amendment; his term expires on January 20, 2017. In the 2008 election, Obama was elected president, defeating the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, receiving 52.9% of the popular vote and 68% of the electoral vote.[1][2] Obama succeeded two-term Republican President George W. Bush, the former Governor of Texas. Since the end of 2009, polling companies such as Gallup have found Obama's approval ratings to be between 40 and 50 percent.[3][4] Analysts such as Larry Sabato have noted that Obama's approval ratings could impact the 2016 campaign, helping or hurting the Democratic candidate.[5][6] If Obama and Vice President Joe Biden serve out the remainder of their respective terms, the voters will elect the 45th President and 48th Vice President of the United States, respectively.

2010 midterm electionsEdit

In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democratic Party suffered significant losses in Congress; the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives (thus taking control of the chamber), and six seats in the Senate, though short of achieving a majority. As a result of the Republicans' recapture of the House, John Boehner became the 53rd Speaker of the House of Representatives. This made Obama the first President in 16 years to lose the House of Representatives in the first half of his first term, in an election that was characterized by the economy's slow recovery, and the rise of the Tea Party movement.[7]

2012 presidential electionEdit

In the 2012 presidential election, incumbent President Barack Obama defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, with 51.1% of the popular vote and 332 (or 61.7%) of 538 electoral votes.[8] Meanwhile, Republicans retained their majority of seats in the House of Representatives despite minor losses, while Democrats increased their majority in the Senate.[2]

Speculation about the 2016 campaign began almost immediately following the 2012 campaign, with New York magazine declaring the race had begun in an article published on November 8, 2012, two days after the 2012 election.[9] On the same day, Politico released an article predicting the 2016 general election may be between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, while a New York Times article named Chris Christie and Cory Booker as potential candidates.[10][11]

2014 midterm electionsEdit

In the 2014 midterm elections, voter turnout was the lowest seen in 70 years, with only 34.4% of eligible voters voting.[12] As a result of the election, the Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, increasing their majority to its largest level since 1928.[13] Republicans also gained a majority in the Senate for the first time since the Democrats took control of the chamber after the 2006 elections, thus giving the Republican Party a majority in both chambers of Congress, and their largest majority in Congress since the 71st Congress in 1928.[13] In the corresponding gubernatorial races, Republicans made a net gain of 2 seats, increasing their total to 31 Governorships.[14] Republicans gained control of 68 of the 98 total state legislative chambers in the entire country, also their largest majority since 1928.[15]

Democratic PartyEdit

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also served in the U.S. Senate and was the 42nd First Lady of the United States, became the first Democrat to announce a major candidacy for the presidency, which she did on April 12, 2015, via a video message.[16] While Nationwide opinion polls in 2015 indicated that Clinton is the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she faces challenges from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.[17] Sanders became the second candidate when he made a formal announcement on April 30 that he was running for the Democratic nomination.[18] September 2015 polling numbers indicated a narrowing gap between Clinton and Sanders.[17][19][20] Former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley was the third candidate to enter the race, which he did on May 30, 2015.[21] Lincoln Chafee, former Independent Governor and Republican Senator of Rhode Island, announced his candidacy on June 3, 2015.[22][23] Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb announced his candidacy on July 2, 2015.[24] Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig announced his candidacy on September 6, 2015.[25] On October 20, Jim Webb announced his withdrawal from the Democratic primaries, and is exploring a potential Independent run.[26] Former U.S. Senator from Delaware and incumbent Vice President Joe Biden opted not to run on October 21, ending months of speculation, stating "While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent."[27][28] Lincoln Chafee withdrew on October 23, stating that he hoped for "an end to the endless wars and the beginning of a new era for the United States and humanity."[29] Lawrence Lessig withdrew on November 2, after failing to qualify for the second officially-sanctioned DNC debate after adoption of a rule change negated polls which before might have necessitated his inclusion in said debate.[30] Hillary Clinton won the Iowa Democratic Caucus by less than one percent. On February 1, 2016, Martin O'Malley withdrew from the presidential race. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Primary with sixty percent of the vote, opposed to Clinton's thirty-eight percent. In Nevada, Hillary Clinton won with fifty-three percent of the vote while Bernie Sanders had forty-seven percent of the vote.

Declared candidatesEdit

Individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; filed as a Democratic presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) (for other than exploratory purposes), or successfully filed for a place on a primary ballot. Candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Candidates featured in major pollsEdit

Democratic Party (United States)
Candidates below have received delegates in various primaries and caucuses.
Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Bernie Sanders September 2015 cropped.jpg
67th
United States Secretary of State
(2009–2013)
from New York
U.S. Senator from Vermont
(2007–present)
Campaign Campaign
[31][32][33] [34][35]

Other candidatesEdit

The following notable individuals are on the primary ballot in at least one state.

  • Rocky De La Fuente, businessman from California[36]
    • Ballot Access to 3,440 of 4,051 (or 84.91%) Pledged Delegates: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Democrats Abroad, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennyslvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia
  • Keith Russell Judd, former prison inmate, presidential candidate (1996–2012), from Texas[37][38]
    • Ballot Access to 952 of 4,051 (or 23.50%) Pledged Delegates: California, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas
  • Sam Sloan, international Chess player, Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 2012, from New York[38][39]
    • Ballot Access to 24 of 4,051 (or 0.59%) Pledged Delegates: New Hampshire
  • Vermin Supreme, performance artist and perennial candidate from Massachusetts[40][41]
    • Ballot Access to 24 of 4,051 (or 0.59%) Pledged Delegates: New Hampshire
  • Willie Wilson, businessman and 2015 Chicago mayoral candidate from Illinois[42][43][44]
    • Ballot Access to 1,242 of 4,051 (or 30.66%) Pledged Delegates: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas
  • John Wolfe, Jr., lawyer and politician from Tennessee[45]
    • Ballot Access to 178 of 4,051 (or 4.39%) Pledged Delegates: Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire

The following notable individuals have taken one or both of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy; filed as a candidate with FEC.

Withdrawn candidatesEdit

Withdrew during primaries

Withdrew prior to any ballot deadline

Republican PartyEdit

United States Senator Ted Cruz from Texas became the first major candidate to announce a campaign in the 2016 election, which he did on March 23, 2015.[56][57] Kentucky Senator Rand Paul became the next candidate to announce on April 7, 2015.[58] Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida, became the next candidate, announcing on April 13.[59][60] Both neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businesswoman Carly Fiorina announced their candidacies on May 4, 2015.[61][62] Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 presidential candidate, announced his candidacy the next day.[63] 2012 presidential candidate and former Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, announced his campaign on May 27.[64] George Pataki, a former New York Governor, was the next to announce, doing so on May 28, 2015.[65] Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina, announced he was running on June 1.[66] Former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who also ran in 2012, announced he was running again on June 4.[67] Former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, joined the race on June 15.[68] Real estate developer and reality TV host, Donald Trump, announced he was running on June 16.[69] Bobby Jindal, outgoing Governor of Louisiana, announced his campaign on June 24.[70] Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announced he was running on June 30.[71] Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker announced his candidacy on July 13.[72] Ohio Governor John Kasich announced his run on July 21.[73] Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore was the most recent Republican candidate to announce his candidacy, which he did on July 30, 2015.[74] On September 11, 2015, Rick Perry withdrew from the race. Scott Walker withdrew on September 21. Bobby Jindal withdrew his candidacy on November 17. Lindsey Graham withdrew from the race on December 21. George Pataki withdrew from the race on December 29. Mike Huckabee withdrew on February 1. Rick Santorum and Rand Paul both dropped out February 3. Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primaries. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina both withdrew from the race on February 10, after failing to receive high numbers in the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary. Jim Gilmore withdrew from the race on February 12.[75] Jeb Bush withdrew from the race on February 20, after having receiving bad numbers in the Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire and South Carolina Primaries.

Declared candidatesEdit

Individuals included in this section have taken one or both of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the Republican Party's presidential nomination; filed as a Republican presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Candidates featured in major pollsEdit

Republican Party (United States)
Candidates included in this section have received one or more delegates in various primaries and caucuses.
Ben Carson Ted Cruz John Kasich Marco Rubio Donald Trump
Ben Carson by Skidmore with lighting correction.jpg
Ted Cruz, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Governor John Kasich.jpg
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Donald Trump August 19, 2015 (cropped).jpg
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery of
Johns Hopkins Hospital
(1984–2013)
U.S. Senator from Texas
(2013–present)
69th
Governor of Ohio
(2011–present)
U.S. Senator from Florida
(2011–present)
Chairman of
The Trump Organization
(1971–present)
Campaign Campaign Campaign Campaign Campaign
[76][77][78] [79][80][81] [73][82] [83][84][85] [86][87][88]

Other candidatesEdit

The following notable individuals are on the primary ballot in at least one state.

Withdrawn candidatesEdit

Withdrew during primaries

The following remain on state ballots

  • Bobby Jindal, 55th Governor of Louisiana (2008–2016). Suspended campaign on November 17, 2015, and endorsed Marco Rubio.[106]
    • On the Ballot: Arkansas, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico
  • Lindsey Graham, senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina (2003–present). Suspended campaign on December 21, 2015, and endorsed Jeb Bush.[107][108][109]
    • On the Ballot: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
  • George Pataki, 53rd Governor of New York (1995–2006). Suspended campaign on December 29, 2015, and endorsed Marco Rubio.[110][111][112]
    • On the Ballot: Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee

Withdrew prior to any ballot deadline

Major third partiesEdit

Parties in this section have obtained ballot access in enough states to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the election. Unless otherwise specified, individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination of a third party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate and obtained enough ballot access to win the election; filed as a third party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed by party and then alphabetically by surname.

Green PartyEdit

Ballot Access to 296 Electoral Votes: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin[116][117]

Libertarian PartyEdit

Ballot Access to 325 electoral votes: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming[124]

Gary Johnson John McAfee
Gary Johnson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John McAfee Def Con (14902350795) (cropped).jpg
29th
Governor of New Mexico
(1995–2003)
(campaign)
[125]
Businessman and computer scientist
from Tennessee
[126]

Withdrawn candidateEdit

Other third parties and independentsEdit

Parties and candidates in this section have yet to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the election. Unless otherwise specified, individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination of a minor party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate; filed as a minor party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed by minor party and then alphabetically by surname.

American Freedom PartyEdit

Further information: American Freedom Party

Ballot Access to 6 electoral votes: Mississippi[130]

  • Bob Whitaker, white nationalist and paleoconservative political activist from South Carolina.[131] Vice-presidential nominee: Tom Bowie, from Maryland[132]

America's PartyEdit

Further information: American Independent Party

Ballot Access to 84 electoral votes: California, Florida[133][134]

Independent American PartyEdit

Further information: Independent American Party

Ballot Access to 18 Electoral Votes: New Mexico, Oregon, Utah[136]

  • Farley Anderson, activist from Utah.[136] Vice Presidential nominee: Vacant

Nutrition PartyEdit

Further information: Nutrition Party

Ballot Access to 9 electoral votes: Colorado[137]

Party for Socialism and LiberationEdit

Ballot Access to 29 electoral votes: Florida[140]

Peace and Freedom PartyEdit

Further information: Peace and Freedom Party

Ballot Access to 84 electoral votes: California, Florida[142][143]

Potential candidatesEdit

Prohibition PartyEdit

Further information: Prohibition Party

Ballot Access to 21 electoral votes: Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi[137][146][147]

  • James Hedges, Tax Assessor for Thompson Township, Fulton County, Pennsylvania 2002–2007;[148][149] vice-presidential nominee: Bill Bayes of Mississippi[148]

Socialist Party USAEdit

Further information: Socialist Party USA

Ballot Access to 0 electoral votes[147]

Veterans Party of AmericaEdit

Further information: Veterans Party of America

Ballot Access to 6 electoral votes: Mississippi[151]

Workers World PartyEdit

Further information: Workers World Party

Ballot Access to 0 electoral votes

IndependentEdit

Publicly expressed interestEdit

Potential battleground statesEdit

Further information: Swing state

In every state except Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in the state wins all of the electoral votes of the state (although state legislatures can, by law, change how electors are elected).[168] Maine and Nebraska use the "congressional district method," in which the winner of the state receives two electoral votes and candidates receive additional electoral votes for each congressional district that they win. Recent presidential campaigns have generally focused their resources on a relatively small number of competitive states.[169][170]

Potential battleground states include Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.[171][172] Other potential Democratic targets include Nebraska's second congressional district, Missouri, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.[171][172] Meanwhile, Republicans may also target Maine's second congressional district, Oregon, New Mexico, Minnesota, and New Jersey.[172][173] Other states may also become competitive if the close races of 2016 differ from the close races of the 2012 election, or if 2016 becomes a landslide election. Both major parties might decide to target the home states of their nominees or that of their running mates if they are from a swing state or have high favorability in the state or region.

In 2016, there are currently twenty-four state ballot initiatives on marijuana legalization in 16 states including in the swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico. Historically, marijuana-legalization ballot initiatives are widely acknowledged to "turn out the vote" for single issue, first-time, and younger voters.[174]

Party conventionsEdit

Map of United States showing Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Orlando
   Philadelphia
   Philadelphia
Cleveland
Cleveland
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Orlando
Orlando
Houston
Houston
Sites of the 2016 national party conventions.
Constitution Party
Libertarian Party
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Green Party

DebatesEdit

Primary election debatesEdit

Main articles:

General presidential election debatesEdit

Map of United States showing debate locations
   Wright State UniversityDayton, Ohio
   Wright State University
Dayton, Ohio
Longwood UniversityFarmville, Virginia
Longwood University
Farmville, Virginia
Washington UniversitySt. Louis, Missouri
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri
University of NevadaLas Vegas
University of Nevada
Las Vegas
Sites of the 2016 General Election Debates

The three locations which will host the presidential debates, and the one location selected to host the vice presidential debate, were announced on September 23, 2015.[182][183][184]

Debates among candidates for the 2016 U.S. presidential election
No. Date Time Host City Moderator Participants
P1
   September 26, 2016   
TBA
Wright State University
Dayton, Ohio
TBA
TBD
VP
October 4, 2016
TBA
Longwood University
Farmville, Virginia
TBA
TBD
P2
October 9, 2016
TBA
   Washington University in St. Louis   
St. Louis, Missouri
TBA
TBD
P3
October 19, 2016
TBA
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
TBA
TBD
Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York will serve as the backup debate location.[184]
       = Sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates

Free & Equal Elections Foundation plans to host a debate between the nominees of the minor parties that are not included in the major debates, but who have enough ballot access to mathematically obtain the minimum electoral votes needed to win the election.[185] It will be located at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California. As of December 2015, the following parties qualify for this debate:

Debate lawsuitEdit

On June 22, 2015, the advocacy group Level the Playing Field, along with Peter Ackerman, the Green Party, and the Libertarian National Committee, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Federal Election Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that its failure to uphold debate fairness laws and address the corruption of the Commission on Presidential Debates after multiple unresolved requests to do so intentionally excluded third parties from the election process.[186][187] The FEC did take up the original complaint in a July 16 meeting, with a motion to open rulemaking failing 2–4 (Commissioners Ann Ravel (D) and Ellen Weintraub (D) voting aye and Commissioners Lee Goodman (R), Caroline Hunter (R), Matthew Petersen (R), and Steven Walther (D) voting no).[188][189]

Because the original complaint became moot after that meeting, the plaintiffs filed another complaint on August 27,[190] amending it on October 22.[191] The FEC responded to that complaint on November 9, denying the vast majority of the claims made without proving their lack of validity.[192]

A motion for the courts to grant leave to amend the complaint further was filed on December 30,[193] and the second amended complaint was submitted on January 5, 2016.[194] At this point Mitt Romney filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on behalf of himself and Barack Obama.[195] The FEC, on January 19, again denied the vast majority of the claims without proving their lack of validity.[196]

Opinion pollingEdit

Supreme Court appointmentEdit

Antonin Scalia's sudden death on February 13, 2016 left eight justices remaining on the Supreme Court, split 4–4 between being fairly conservative and fairly liberal, during a presidential election year.[197][198] President Obama has stated that he will nominate Justice Scalia's successor in "due time".[199] Scalia's death marks only the second time in sixty years a justice has died in office.[200] Immediately, rhetoric ensued in an attempt to influence a postponement of the appointment of a new justice until the election is over and a new president inaugurated,[201] creating a new election issue.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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