The Campaign Trail: Political Outsiders

Due to their lack of political experience, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Donald Trump are being referred to as outsider candidates in the 2016 presidential election.

Fiorina entered the world of politics after an extensive career in corporate business. Her last job in the corporate world was at Hewlett-Packard Company, an information technology firm, where she served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Fiorina held other noteworthy job titles, such as senior vice president at AT&T and president of the consumer products sector at Lucent Technologies.

During her career in corporate, Fiorina received multiple “first female” statuses. Fiorina was the first female to hold an executive officer position at AT&T in the company’s history. She was the first woman to lead what “Fortune” magazine refers to as a top-20 company. Fiorina is looking to add to her list of “first female” statuses; she is vying for the title of first female president.

After being forced to leave HP in 2005, Fiorina attempted to enter the political world. In 2008, she was an adviser for presidential candidate John McCain. Two years later, she received the Republican nomination for California’s senatorial seat but ultimately fell short in the election.

When Fiorina’s candidacy is discussed, her views on Planned Parenthood and abortion are typically brought up. During the Sept. 16 GOP primary debate, Fiorina, who is anti-choice and anti-Planned Parenthood, alluded to a Planned Parenthood video that may have been edited. After this debate, she received criticism from the public eye and started falling in the polls.

Whether her fall in polls resulted from her remarks against Planned Parenthood or not, Fiorina had not led the polls until recently. The Nov. 9 Minnesota KSTP/SurveyUSA poll showed Fiorina ahead of democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by four.

Dr. Ben Carson, the second outsider candidate, previously worked as a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital until his retirement in 2013. Carson first stepped into the media spotlight in 1987 when he became the first person to separate conjoined twins successfully.

Carson’s first appearance in the political world occurred in 2013 when he expressed his political opinions during a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Carson sparked controversy when he publicly scorned decisions made by President Barack Obama, who was present at the event.

In addition to being new to the political world, Carson has also shown inconsistency in his political affiliation, having been registered as a Democrat, Independent and Republican. According to Carson, he was raised in a democratic mind set in which Republicans were seen as the enemy. After listening to Republican politicians, specifically Ronald Reagan, Carson formed his own views and registered with the Republican Party. He remained with this party until 1999 when he became an Independent as a result of the actions of both political parties during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In 2014, Carson returned to the Republican party and began to consider running for the 2016 election.

Carson, aware of his lack of political experience, has used religion as a foundation for his campaign, sharing his own story about how his religion transformed his life. According to his website, Carson acknowledges and complies with the constitutional right for citizens to practice freedom of religion, but he also supports people who choose to abstain from religious beliefs.

Polls have been back and forth between Carson and his opponent Donald Trump. The most recent 2016 Republican presidential nomination poll has Carson leading Trump by one point.

The media has quickly taken to the third outside candidate, Donald Trump. The public is quick to criticize Trump and plaster their opinions all across the Internet through memes and gifs.

Trump entered the presidential race with a wide range of career experience but no political background. Trump worked jobs within the real estate market and the entertainment industry. In 1971, Trump inherited his father’s New York City real estate company Elizabeth Trump & Son and renamed it The Trump Organization. Trump has become a large part of the entertainment industry through his buildings, hotels and casinos, which have hosted events such as WrestleMania. Trump also hosted the reality game show “The Apprentice.”

Much like Carson, Trump has flip-flopped between political parties, but unlike Carson, Trump has made the switch six times. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he moved to the Republican Party in 1987. He remained a Republican until 1999 when he changed to the Reform Party. After a three-year stay in the Reform Party, Trump rejoined the Democrats from 2001-2009. After 2009, Trump spent two years as a Republican and one year as an Independent before returning to the Republican Party where he remains currently.

Trump gained most news coverage after proclaiming his beliefs on immigration laws and polices. He has based his plan on actions made by former president Dwight Eisenhower who deported approximately one and a half million immigrants from the United States. Trump advocates for the removal of all 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in America.

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