The 2016 Presidential Election Officially Begins Tonight In Iowa
Though it seems like the 2016 presidential election has been in the news for forever, the election officially begins in Iowa tonight. Caucusgoers will brave the impending blizzard to select their favorite candidates on both the Republican and Democratic sides, giving us all the first real votes of this election season.
On the Republican side, there is a dead heat between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. All eyes are on turnout in these caucuses, as they will likely be the most noteworthy thing in the caucuses and could be an indicator of who will secure the victory on the Republican side. If turnout is well above 2012’s numbers, it might mean that Donald Trump was actually able to bring new voters to the polls, helping his chances of winning. But, analysts predict that Ted Cruz will prevail if turnout numbers are low or relatively similar to 2012.
Though winning the Iowa caucus does not automatically clinch the nomination for one of these two Republican frontrunners, it does bring the victorious candidate more momentum. No matter which of the two Republican frontrunners prevails in Iowa, the results of the Republican caucus will be bad news for voters in Iowa and across the country. Below are a few ways in which a victory for Trump or Cruz in Iowa hurts voters. For even more facts about the effect of Republican policies on Iowa voters, and check out our Iowa Caucus study guide.
- Both Cruz and Trump would be negative for women’s health and economic security. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump both oppose a woman’s right to choose. Cruz even worked in Texas to make it harder for women to receive abortions. And both oppose federal funding for Planned Parenthood, with Ted Cruz leading the charge to defund the women’s health organization that served 2.7 million patients in 2013 alone. And though women in Iowa make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, both Cruz and Trump have not supported any new equal pay legislation.
- Cruz and Trump are climate deniers who do not support solutions for climate change. Both Cruz and Trump deny or question the science behind human-caused climate change. Cruz is arguably the worst of the climate-denying candidates, calling climate change a “pseudoscientific theory” and parroting a favorite myth among deniers that in “the last 15 years there has been no recorded warming.” Trump also doubts the reality of climate change. He told Jake Tapper this summer, “I’m not a huge believer in the global warming phenomenon.” This climate denial will only continue to hurt everyday Americans. Even after record-high temperatures in 2015, Ted Cruz’s energy plan did not mention climate change. And Donald Trump has yet to release an energy plan.
- Trump and Cruz’s tax plans hurt low-income Americans while giving tax breaks to the wealthy few. Cruz’s plan will definitely benefit the richest Americans, with the top 1 percent receiving a 29.6 percent increase in their after-tax income, while middle-income earners see just a 1.5 percent increase. And Trump’s plan would give the wealthiest 1 percent a $275,257 tax cut on average and would give his own family a tax break of up to $3.48 billion by eliminating the estate tax. These giveaways to the wealthy would undermine Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other fundamental programs for low-income and middle-class Americans.
- Cruz and Trump’s views on immigration will hurt voters across the country. Cruz and Trump have been some of the most vocal candidates on immigration, with Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” while Cruz vows to end community trust policies. Both oppose President Obama’s 2014 DAPA and expanded DACA initiatives, which, together with the DACA initiative in 2012, would grow Iowa’s economy by $765 million over the next decade and help nearly 5 million people across the US. And blocking these 2014 initiatives costs the United States $29.9 million every day.
BOTTOM LINE: Tonight is the night where the 2016 presidential election moves beyond polls and into real votes. Even though the votes in Iowa don’t necessarily determine the winners of the party nominations for presidents, the stakes are still high tonight. Unfortunately, whether it’s Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, the winner of the Republican Iowa caucus supports policies that hurt voters in the Hawkeye State and beyond.
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