Diversity in 2016 Election
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In years past, the presidential election was dominated by old, white males running for office until 2008, when Barack Obama made history and became the first African American president. Now in the upcoming election, there seems to be more diversity than ever, especially on the Republican side.
The Grand Old Party, also known as the Republican Party, has not been known to be the most diverse group; yet, astoundingly, they have presented the most diverse group of candidates in this year’s election. At the beginning of the campaign season, the Republican roster for presidential hopefuls included Bobby Jindal, an Indian American, Ben Carson, an African American, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both Cuban American and Carly Fiorina the only female candidate on the Republican side.
On the other hand, Democrats started the presidential nomination with a whole line-up of white men and one white women. This is a bit ironic considering that the Democratic party prides itself on being the party for diversity. The Republican side this year however, was proud to have diverse candidates in this year’s election.
Now that the general election is getting closer, the playing field on both sides is beginning to thin out. The GOP, that started out with seventeen candidates, is now left with four presidential hopefuls, which include Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Donald Trump. The Democrats had six candidates at the beginning of the race and are now left with two, Hillary Clinton, a female candidate, and Bernie Sanders, a Jewish candidate.
The GOP seems to be changing to accommodate the new era that was ushered in by the election of the first president of color. When asked by ABC News about her thoughts on the diversity of the GOP in the presidential election, Renee Amoore, the deputy chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, said, “The party has definitely changed, the change is going to take a while. It takes a while for people to be on the same accord, but what I am happy about is that there is not a lot of anger and that people seem to be working together to make these changes.”
On the Democratic side, the two remaining candidates are both candidates who will represent change. Hillary Clinton if elected will become the first women to hold office. If Bernie Sanders wins he will become not only the first Jewish president but also the first self-proclaimed socialist to take office.
This election year is looking to be very interesting. No matter who wins the presidency, the new president will make waves just because of who her or she is.