Monday, February 1, 2016

My Decision - 2016

Would you like to have a very easy time deciding for which of the candidates to vote?  Here's a word of advice: *don't* go meet them all.  Just go meet the one you have a preconceived notion you will like; imagine everyone else is a villain, and vote.  
But you've taken the hard way with me through my candidate series, so let's see if we can reach an educated decision.


That means if you want to vote for...
The Most Educated Candidate?  Ted Cruz! (source)
The Oldest Candidate?  Bernie Sanders! (74)
The Youngest/Most Handsome Candidate? Marco Rubio! (Trump disagrees)
The Richest Candidate?  Donald Trump
The Most Exciting Candidates?  Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders
The  Best Candidate Surname? Ben Carson
The Tallest Candidates? Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump (6'3").
The Candidate with the Nicest Style? Carly Fiorina
    I'm sure after hearing this mixture of facts and biases  these facts you will be able to march to the caucus with me in full assurance that you're voting for what matters most to you, be it height, education, good looks, wealth, or charisma.

    But in case you're one of those untrusting people who let insidious doubts enter their minds about the obvious benefits of having someone with an awesome-sounding surname (or someone with a *great* hair-do for that matter) as our next President, let's take a cold hard look at the candidate's positions.

    If you disagree on whether an item should go in the pro or con column, click and drag that item into the other column.  When you're done, scroll back and see which candidate has the longest list of pros for you, then comment and let me know (your re-organized columns will not be saved).

    ********                         Hillary Clinton                       ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Student Debt: Wants students to be able to refinance their loans.
    • Corporate Welfare: Voted for bailout of financial system in 2008.  Voted in favor of a $14 billion bailout for automakers in 2008.   (Though as of 2015 has said that as President, she would let banks fail before bailing them out.)
    • Economy: Wants to raise the minimum wage.
    • Education: Community colleges should be tuition free. Federal funding for pre-schools.
    • Education: Supports Common Core.
    • Elections: Against Citizens United.
    • Energy: Against fossil fuels. Wants the government to lead effort to move to renewable energy sources. Originally supported Keystone Pipeline, but now opposes it.
    • Foreign Policy: Hailed nuclear deal with Iran. Seems to be for regime change.
    • Health Care: Applauds the Affordable Care Act.
    • Immigration: Wants to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
    • Privacy: Voted for Patriot Act in 2001 and in 2006.
    • Second Amendment: Supports gun control. F rating from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-choice, Pro-marriage equality.
    • Syria: Wants to admit 65,000 Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants to increase capital gains tax on short-term investments.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                       Martin O'Malley                     ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against bank bailouts and subsidies.
    • Foreign Policy: Doesn't believe in searching the world for "monsters to destroy."
    • Student Debt: Wants students to be able to refinance their loans.
    • Syria: Doesn't want U.S. ground troops in Syria
    • Syria: Against creation of a no-fly zone in Syria
    • Economy: Wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.00.
    • Education: Supports Common Core.
    • Elections: Against Citizens United. Advocates public funding of congressional elections.
    • Energy: Against fossil fuels and the Keystone Pipeline. Wants the government to lead effort to move to 100% clean energy sources and deny new drilling permits.
    • Foreign Policy: Hailed nuclear deal with Iran.
    • Health Care: Applauds the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Wants to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
    • Privacy: Supported the USA Freedom Act, which restored a modified version of the Patriot Act.
    • Second Amendment: Supports gun control.
    • Social Issues: Pro-choice, Pro-marriage equality.
    • Syria: Wants to admit 65,000 Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants to increase the marginal rate to 45% for people earning over a million dollars


    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                      Bernie Sanders                        ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Seems sincere. Has said the same things for years.
    • Corporate Welfare: Voted against bailouts in 2008.
    • Education: Opposes Common Core.
    • Federal Reserve: Wants to audit the Federal Reserve.
    • Foreign Policy: Willing to work with Russia to defeat ISIS. Not a warmongering regime changer.
    • Privacy: Against Patriot Act and NSA's invasion of privacy.
    • Student Debt: Wants students to be able to refinance their loans.
    • Economy: Wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.00.
    • Education: Public colleges should be tuition free. Federal funding for pre-schools and daycares.
    • Elections: Against Citizens United. Advocates public funding of elections.
    • Energy: Against fossil fuels. Wants the government to lead effort to move to renewable energy sources.
    • Foreign Policy: Hailed nuclear deal with Iran.
    • Health Care: Wants healthcare guaranteed as a universal right of citizenship.
    • Immigration: Wants to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
    • Second Amendment: D- from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-choice, Pro-marriage equality.
    • Syria: Wants to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Advocates progressive taxation in an effort to "redistribute the wealth."



    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                         Chris Christie                       ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against bank bailouts
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports Keystone Pipeline.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Secure the border. Enforce our laws so those here illegally cannot get jobs and will leave.
    • Regulations: Wants to freeze all new regulations for 90 days..
    • Second Amendment Against gun control
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Against public funding of Planned Parenthood
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, and as governor vetoed a same-sex marriage law.
    • Student Debt: Wants students to be able to refinance their loans.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants to lower income tax.
    • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 25%.
    • Education: Supported Common Core (but now does not).
    • Energy: Wants to the government to incentivize alternative energy. Supports the Renewable Fuel Standard.
    • Foreign Policy: Supports regime change.
    • Health Care: Has expanded Medicaid as governor.
    • Privacy: Supports Patriot Act
    • Religious Freedom: Declined to endorse legislation to protect those with religious objections to providing services for homosexual weddings from being sued.
    • Second Amendment: C from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Enforced Supreme Court's decision on homosexual marriage. Clerks who would not issue marriage licenses in NJ lost their jobs.
    • Syria: Advocates a no-fly zone over Syria. Willing to shoot down Russian planes if they violate it.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                         John Kasich                          ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Economy: Advocates for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
    • Energy: Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to utilize all energy sources to achieve energy independence.
    • Energy: Does not advocate subsidizing any single energy source.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Wants to close our border and build a wall, and then give legal residence--but not citizenship--to illegal aliens already here.
    • Regulations: Wants a 1 year moratorium on all major new regulations.
    • Second Amendment: A rating from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees, due to vetting concerns.
    • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 25%.
    • Taxes: Wants to lower income tax rates, simplify tax code, and launch independent top-to-bottom review of the IRS, to stop unfair IRS targeting.
    • Corporate Welfare: Bank Bailouts, but only for hardworking people who need help, not for those who can afford to fail. (See debate)
    • Education: Supports Common Core
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, but "the court has ruled, and...we'll accept [homosexual marriage]."
    • Foreign Policy: Wants a no-fly zone over Syria. Wants ground troops in Syria. Does not plan to work with Russia.
    • Taxes: Does not want to abolish IRS.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                           Jeb Bush                              ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Condemned the auto-industry bailout.
    • Economy: Supports the Balanced Budget Amendment
    • Economy: Advocates eliminating the federal minimum wage
    • Education: Wants to reduce the size of the federal Dept. of Education by 50%.
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline.
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border, and only then give illegal immigrants already here a path to legalization, but not citizenship.
    • Regulations: Wants to institute a regulatory budget, and repeal Waters of the United States.
    • Second Amendment: A+ from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Taxes: Wants to lower income tax.
    • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 20%.
    • Corporate Welfare: Supported TARP (the bank bailout).
    • Education: Believes the federal government should help states fund education.
    • Foreign Policy: Wants a no-fly zone over Syria. Wants to take out both sides (ISIS *and* Assad) at the same time, and has called for ground troops in Syria. Also unfriendly toward Russia.
    • Privacy: Supports Patriot Act
    • Taxes: Does not want to abolish IRS.
    • Torture: Supports waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                     Mike Huckabee                        ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against the bank and auto industry bailouts
    • Education: Opposes Common Core, and believes education decisions should be made by parents.
    • Energy: Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to utilize all energy sources to achieve energy independence.
    • Foreign Policy: Believes ISIS is the major threat, and is fine with Russia and Assad fighting them.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border.
    • Second Amendment: A+ rating from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Against federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Actually plans to stop abortions by invoking the 5th and 14th amendments.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage and First Amendment Defence Act to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Advocates Fair Tax. Wants to abolish the IRS.
    • Energy: Supports subsidies for renewable energy sources
    • Foreign Policy: Willing to send ground troops in Syria if needed.
    • Health Care: Seems to support mandatory vaccinations for children.
    • Social Security/Medicare: Wants to perpetuate these programs.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                     Rick Santorum                        ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against the bank and auto industry bailouts
    • Education: Against Common Core
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline.
    • Federal Reserve: Wants to audit the Federal Reserve.
    • Foreign Policy: Fine with Russians bombing ISIS in Syria; says they're acting rationally.
    • Foreign Policy: Does not advocate for a no-fly zone in Syria or U.S. troops on the ground there.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Secure the border with a wall. Enforce our laws so those here illegally cannot get jobs and will leave.
    • Second Amendment: A+ from the NRA
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Against federal funding of Planned Parenthood
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage and First Amendment Defence Act to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants a flat tax. Wants to downsize IRS.
    • Economy: Wants to raise the minimum wage.
    • Foreign Policy: Wants more U.S. ground troops in Iraq to fight ISIS.
    • Privacy: Voted for Patriot Act, and says he'd do so again today.
    • Social Security/Medicare: Wants to perpetuate these programs.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                     Donald Trump                          ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Education: Against Common Core.
    • Energy: Supports Keystone Pipeline. Wants U.S. energy independence
    • Foreign Policy: Against Iran deal.
    • Foreign Policy: Let the Russians bomb the ISIS! If we confront Russia over Syria we'll start World War III.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Health Care: Wants to let insurance providers compete across state lines.
    • Health Care: Against mandatory vaccinations for children. Suspects vaccinations may cause health problems.
    • Immigration: We're going to have a big, beautiful wall, with a big beautiful door. It's going to be huge, and Mexico's going to pay for it. Illegal aliens will be deported, but given an expedited legal way back in.
    • Personal Life: Has never drank, smoked, or done drugs.
    • Religious Freedom: Has expressed support for First Amendment Defence Act to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: Supports Second Amendment. Has a permit to carry.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, and wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn gay marriage decision.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Wants to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood
    • Syria: We have no idea who we're fighting for in Syria. Are the rebel groups we're fighting for ISIS? We don't know. Stay out of that quagmire.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants to simplify IRS code and cut income tax.
    • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 15%.
    • Taxes: Wants to eliminate the death tax
    • Corporate Welfare: Supported TARP (the bank bailout).
    • Energy: Supports subsidies for renewable energy including the wind industry and ethanol.
    • Foreign Policy: Wants more ground troops in Iraq to fight ISIS.
    • Privacy: Supports the Patriot Act.
    • Social Issues: Has said his views on LGBT rights are "evolving," and has supported amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation (the Equality Act).
    • Social Issues: Says Kim Davis should have obeyed. “You have to go with it. The decision's been made, and that is the law of the land.”
    • Social Security/Medicare: Wants to perpetuate these programs
    • Torture: Wants to bring back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                     Carly Fiorina                          ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Opposes bailouts.
    • Bureaucracy: Cut bureaucracy by instituting zero-based budgeting.
    • Education: Against Common Core.
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to achieve energy independence.
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies.
    • Federal Reserve: Limit the power of the Federal Reserve.
    • Foreign Policy: Against Iran deal.
    • Foreign Policy: Not ready to put troops on the ground in Syria, but wants to destroy ISIS by arming Kurds and bombing.
    • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Health Care: Wants insurance companies to compete across state lines.
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border. Afterwards, for legalization but not citizenship for illegal aliens
    • Regulations: Conduct a top-to-bottom review of every single regulation.
    • Religious Freedom: Has pledged to sign First Amendment Defense Act as president, to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: Strong supporter of Second Amendment.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees, due to vetting concerns.
    • Taxes: Wants to lower every rate, close every loophole, and cut the tax code down to three pages.
    • Corporate Welfare: Supported bank bailouts (TARP) in 2008 as "necessary."
    • Foreign Policy: Supports no-fly zone over Syria, and says we should be prepared to use force against Russians if they violate it.
    • Foreign Policy: Seems to want to fight both ISIS *and* Assad.
    • Foreign Policy: Has criticized Trump for being against regime-change.
    • Torture: Supports waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                     Marco Rubio                          ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against the bailouts
    • Education: Against Common Core. (source)
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies. (Supports RFS for now, but doesn't want to renew it.)
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to achieve energy independence (source)
    • Federal Reserve: Audit the Federal Reserve
    • Foreign Policy: Against Iran Deal. (source)
    • Health Care: Repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border with 700 miles of walls (and more). Then, and only then, temporary nonimmigrant visa for qualified illegal immigrants already here
    • Regulations: Cut regulations by instituting a national regulatory budget. (source)
    • Religious Freedom: Has pledged to sign First Amendment Defense Act as president, to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: B+ from the NRA.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, and wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn gay marriage decision.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees unless and until is possible to vet them. (source)
    • Taxes: Wants to simplify the tax code and cut income tax rates. (source)
    • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 25%. (source)
    • Foreign Policy: Supports no-fly zone over Syria, even if enforcing it leads to conflict with Russia.
    • Foreign Policy: Wants to fight both ISIS *and* Assad.
    • Privacy: Supports Patriot Act.
    • Reliability: After missing 8.3% of votes, has the worst attendance record in the Senate, excluding McCain (who ran for President) and Kirk (who had a stroke). (source)
    • Torture: Supports waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                       Ben Carson                            ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Corporate Welfare: Against Bailouts
    • Economy: For Balanced Budget Amendment.
    • Education: Against Common Core
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies.
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to achieve energy independence.
    • Foreign Policy: Wants to bomb ISIS and choke their supply lines.
    • Health Care: Repeal the Affordable Care Act
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border. Then, and only then, give guest worker visas to illegal immigrants already here.
    • Privacy: Against the Patriot Act.
    • Regulations:
    • Religious Freedom: Has pledged to sign First Amendment Defense Act as president, to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: Supports the Second Amendment.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: Wants a 14.9% flat tax. Simplify tax code. Abolish loopholes. Abolish the death tax.
    • Foreign Policy: Supports no-fly zone over Syria, and encourages shooting down Russian planes if they violate it.
    • Foreign Policy: Open to the idea of troops on the ground to fight ISIS.
    • Foreign Policy: Seems to want to fight both ISIS *and* Assad.
    • Health Care: Seems to support mandatory vaccinations for children.
    • Torture: Seems to support waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                           Ted Cruz                              ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Bureaucracy: Eliminate the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development<//li>
    • Corporate Welfare: Against Bailouts
    • Economy: For Balanced Budget Amendment.
    • Education: Repeal every word of Common Core.
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to achieve energy independence
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies.
    • Foreign Policy: Repeal Iran Deal on Day 1.
    • Foreign Policy: Does not want U.S. ground troops in Syria (though will consider whatever commanders tell him). "The Kurds are our boots on the ground."
    • Foreign Policy: Against no-fly zone in Syria. Wants to destroy ISIS, and will work with Russia to achieve this goal.
    • Health Care: Repeal Affordable Care Act.
    • Immigration: Wants to secure the border (and deport illegal immigrants--I'd put that part in the middle, rather than in pros)
    • Religious Freedom: Has pledged to sign First Amendment Defense Act as president, to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: A+ from the NRA.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, and wants to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.
    • Syria: Against admitting refugees from any country that contains substantial territory controlled by a foreign terrorist organization..
    • Taxes: Eliminate the IRS.
    • Taxes: Wants a flat tax.
    • Torture: "Torture is wrong, unambiguously. Period. The end. Civilized nations do not engage in torture."
    • Privacy: Supported the USA Freedom Act, which restored a modified version of the Patriot Act.

    _________________________________________________________________________________
    ********                         Rand Paul                              ********
                                        Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
    jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
    • Bureaucracy: Wants to cut regulations and take power away from unelected bureaucrats.
    • Corporate Welfare: Against Bailouts
    • Economy: For Balanced Budget Amendment.
    • Education: Against Common Core
    • Energy: Advocates lifting ban on crude oil exports. Supports the Keystone Pipeline. Wants to achieve energy independence
    • Energy: Wants to eliminate all energy subsidies.
    • Federal Reserve: Wants to audit the Federal Reserve.
    • Foreign Policy: Does not want to send ground troops into Syria or Iraq. Not a regime-changer.
    • Foreign Policy: Against a no-fly zone in Syria.
    • Health Care: Repeal Affordable Care Act.
    • Immigration: Secure the border. Afterward, legalization for illegal aliens with citizenship possible if they "get in the same line" as everyone else.
    • Privacy: Against the Patriot Act and NSA spying.
    • Religious Freedom: Supports the First Amendment Defense Act as president, which would protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
    • Second Amendment: A+ from the NRA.
    • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, but says the government should not be involved in marriage.
    • Social Issues: Pro-life. Opposes federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
    • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
    • Taxes: End the IRS. Eliminate income tax, payroll tax, gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. Close nearly all loopholes
    • Taxes: 14.5% "Fair and Flat Tax" for individuals and corporations.
    • Torture: Against torture. Says we should take a moral stand against it.


    And, dear readers...I have run out of time! Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are my top options...but I will have to add them later. Check out my I Side With results to see why in the mean time. Not everything on I Side With is accurate, so check their sources; but they are mostly accurate.

    (Edit: Cruz and Paul Added! If I've missed anything in the candidates' positions, let me know.)

    I'm heading to the caucus now, and will most likely vote for...Rand Paul! (As many of my friends have suspected from the start.)

    36 comments:

    1. The only thing I disagree with you on is "The most handsome candidate". Rubio may be the youngest but I would say Rand Paul is by far the cutest. ;)
      Oh, and I haven't seen any of the candidates--even though Cruz came within three miles of me!--but I'm still having a hard time making a decision! I'm in the same place as you, Rand Paul or Ted Cruz. Most likely the former.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Ummm...well, I guess it's a free country; you're entitled to your own opinion, but I'm sticking with my evaluation. Though to be honest, if we're going to vote based on appearance, I wish they'd lower the age from 35 to 18 or 21. I could make a couple nominations that would beat all current candidates in a heartbeat...

        Ouch, too bad you missed Cruz! I guess Rand Paul suspending his campaign now may make your decision a little easier though.

        Delete
    2. This is so cool Bethany! :) I will have to contemplate this later.
      May the best man win, and happy voting you Iowan you. ;)

      ReplyDelete
    3. That was very interesting. I thought of you today and wondered who you would vote for. I have a little more time, and am going to do the I side with test. but I bet it will be similar to your results.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. That test is fun--enjoy! Do be sure to check the sources though before making any decisions based on what they say. They do have a couple sources that don't check out at all.

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    4. My dear Bethany, this was very interesting and I am so glad you're sharing this information with your readers - it's needed! I have been leaning towards Ted Cruz and I have from the beginning so I am eager to hear your thoughts on him :)

      Thanks for sharing and have a lovely week! Hugs to you!

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      1. Hi Stephanie, I've added in the Pros and Cons on Cruz. He is the candidate closest, after Paul, to the positions I advocate; and I think I could live with him as the nominee. His beliefs sound good, and he is a strong debater. Lots of conservative Christians here in Iowa support him, which makes me nervous though. I guess I've just never had a good feeling about him...others obviously very strongly do believe he's the one.
        Blessings to you, and may God grant you wisdom in your decision! Take care!

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    5. You seem very involved in this, but that's a good thing, your readers are probably happy to have a lot of info.

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    6. I'm glad we have a primary system in SC versus a caucus like you'll do in Iowa.

      It sounds like a episode of who's line is it anyway

      Welcome to "Iowa" the elections where everything's made up and the points don't matter

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      1. Well, that's probably how Bernie Sanders supporters here are feeling right now. I read one article that claims 6 coin tosses gave Clinton her supposed victory. I've also heard many of the Democratic caucuses were disorganized and unprepared for the number of voters that showed up.

        The Republican caucus system here seems better to me--they count and report every vote. And finally starting this year, caucus results have become binding when selecting delegates.

        I guess a primary would indeed be more efficient though.

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    7. I was so unsure last night on whether I should vote for Cruz or Paul. During our caucus meeting, there were a couple of people who gave their speech on supporting Trump, and it just dawned on me that I would rather vote for Cruz (who had more supporters than Paul) than to have someone like Trump win.

      "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."~ Proverbs 16:33

      In the end, I was glad of the results from the night. :) Praise God!

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      1. Glad you were able to make up your mind, and congrats on picking the state winner! We had both Cruz and Trump supporters (and Carson, Huckabee, and Paul supporters) in our family; it was fun!

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    8. What a thoughtful analysis!!! That would take a very long time! So interesting!! Great job!!

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      1. Thanks Kathleen! This post did take awhile!

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    9. Still very much undecided but I think it would be between Cruz and Rubio. You have certainly kept us informed and it will certainly either be a disaster...or not so much :) Thanks, Bethany!

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      1. I think that's something most everyone in the nation can agree on--the result "will certainly either be a disaster...or not so much." The only problem is that half the country will think it's a disaster no matter whom is elected; the result of the election will just determine which half of us will be miserable!

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    10. I really appreciate reading your comments. Thanks for sharing the information about the I Side With quiz. That was very interesting, except for the fact that it said I side with Donald Trump, which I absolutely don't! Anyhow, have a great time at the Caucus. I wish I could be there:)

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      1. Donald Trump actually does have some very good views once you explore his positions. I couldn't vote for him, but he is a very likeable person, and after seeing him three times and watching boardroom scenes from The Apprentice I almost wish I could have voted for him...he's exciting! Of course, the I Side With quiz isn't totally accurate, but it's fun. Wish you could have been here too!

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    11. I am still SO amazed you got to meet every single one of the candidates :) What an amazing thing to do!
      Now this must be a really tough decision.
      I have no idea right now whom I would vote, I think I would have to carefully re-read everything about them to make up my mind :)
      Have a wonderful week, Bethany :)
      Lots of hugs to you,
      Beate

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      1. Ahhh, writing this post I was really wishing there were less candidates! I'd finish researching one, and then there would be another to study, and another, and another! Having so many candidates does make it tough!

        Have a great week as well, Beate!

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    12. I appreciate all the work you have put into this for us, Bethany, as well as your passion for politics. And my vote is Rubio as the most handsome. :)

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      1. Wow, what an incredible analysis! You have really done your homework and will be one of the few voters making a very informed decision. I'm sure all of us Canadians are curious as to who will be your next President.

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      2. Thanks Allison! Good to know I'm not the only one voting for Rubio on that!

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      3. Thanks Martha! It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

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    13. Hi Bethany, You started your series on the Candidates in early October. At that time I thought I had a pretty good idea of how things were going to turn out. Wow, I sure had a lot to learn! :-) I watched the caucus results last night on CNN until nearly complete. The biggest surprise to me is Rubio’s strong 3rd place finish. I had to go back and re-read your report on Rubio and found this from his speech: “Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt. My mom is on Social Security, so I'm against what's bad for her. We need to fix Social Security, so that people who have paid into it all their lives will receive it. I'm 44 years old. For me Social Security may not exist, or it may work differently, perhaps as a private plan. But we should keep our promises to the older generation.” Well, you know me, looking out for the Senior Citizens! :-) So, Rubio is not out of the question! I was not surprised to see Cruz do so well in Iowa given the values shared by many in your great state. It will be interesting to see what the changes will be as things move forward. On the D side I’m expecting a tough race all the way to the Convention and earlier my thought was that Clinton would walk in easily. I sure admire the way you reached your own personal decision and I can’t believe the amount of work you put into this post! Awesome! I hope you will continue your reporting and updates as we move through the election cycle!

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      1. Hi John, Rubio's success was surprising. I do really like how Rubio addresses the concerns of young people as well as old. Keeping SS for our elders, while phasing it out into a private plan for us sounds good to me.

        I thought Cruz was in trouble after Governor Branstad spoke against Cruz for being against the Renewable Fuel Standard, but I guess I was wrong. Having Representative King (who stands for farmers) and Bob Vander Plaats endorsing him probably helped a lot.

        It is pretty neat how close the Democratic caucus was! Watching the rest of the states vote will be exciting!

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    14. You put a lot of work into this. Thanks for making it easier to weigh the issues, and finding out where each one stands.

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      1. Regardless of everything I've said about being respectful of other people's positions, working on this post came *that close* to making me start hating politicians!

        So many are such fence-walkers. I'd look up, "Does so-and-so support something?" The answer, "I sort of support it, but in a way I'm also against it." Then on other positions they might be for something in 2008, and against it in 2012. It took a lot of work trying to find somewhat clear answers from some candidates on many issues. Thanks for stopping by!

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    15. I can't vote for two years, but if I could, I would probably vote for Ted Cruz. It's funny though, I'm currently listening to a video about Rand Paul that a friend wanted people to watch. I don't know much about him, I guess since he's not talked about as much as some other candidates.

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      1. Neat that you'd vote for Cruz. Looks like Paul just suspended his campaign, which is sort of sad, but understandable, as it definitely didn't look like he was going to win.

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    16. I enjoyed your coverage of the candidates and the Iowa caucus process! It's awesome that you got to meet all the candidates. Did you end up voting for Rand Paul?

      I'm not a Republican (I'm Libertarian), but in the Republican field I think my ordering would be Paul > Rubio > Cruz > Kasich > others > Trump. Rand Paul is the most libertarian Senator, but he's a far cry from his father and he runs away from the "libertarian" label. Rubio is a great speaker, uses free market rhetoric, and seems more open to immigration than the others (which I consider good). Cruz has a lot of liberty tendencies, but is divisive rather than inclusive in his approach. Kasich seems to have a pretty good record... he was my dad's favorite Republican back when he chaired the House budget committee many years ago. Trump scares me. He's a populist panderer who seems vengeful on a hair trigger, so I worry a Trump presidency could lead to war or worse.

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      1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Chuck! Yes, I voted for Rand Paul.

        I did like Ron Paul more, but Rand is, I believe, the best the Republican field had this year. Thanks for sharing your evaluation on the candidates.

        Foreign policy that could lead to war is what worries me on a lot of candidates. Trump seems one of the least war-mongering from his rhetoric (he says he actually wants to work with Russia instead of creating a no-fly zone and being prepared to shoot down Russian planes like Christie and a few others), but I do have a cousin who, based on Trump's disposition, thinks electing him president would mean the end of the world.

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    17. Thank you again for your political posts, Bethany. I have been recommending them to my family and plan to revisit them in the months ahead as election preparation progresses. I was relieved by the choices of you Iowa voters!

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      1. Thank you Gracie! Glad you were happy with the results. :)

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