Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Press offers insight to presidential candidates

2016 presidential candidate basics ... just the facts
Click to enlarge and print

The second and much-anticipated Republican presidential debate will be next Wednesday on CNN, but many voters are still trying to sort out just who the 17 candidates are. For that, The Crittenden Press is offering a little help.

If you've relied on the mainstream media to get your news on the presidential race, you might think Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are the only Republican candidates running, but none of the other 15 have dropped out just yet. On the Democratic side, everyone knows about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as a possible run by Vice President Joe Biden, but did you know there are three others from the party running?

It can also be hard to sort out fact from fiction (or opinion) regarding each of the candidates, and basic information doesn't draw ratings and takes up inches in newspapers. But The Crittenden Press has compiled information in six basic categories on all candidates that might provide some insight. It's just the facts, ma'am, as Detective Joe Friday might say. After all, education, religion, political experience and military service can play a key role in the decisions a candidate makes.

For instance, did you know that only four of the 19 declared candidates have military experience? One of those was a colonel in the Air Force. One served in Vietnam. Only two presidents since the end of World War II were not veterans.

More than half of the candidates are lawyers. Twenty-six of the 44 presidents were (or are) attorneys.

Nine candidates are current or former U.S. Senators, including Clinton and Biden, who have each gone on to hold higher positions in federal government. Eleven are current or former governors. Three have no political experience.

Two candidates attended medical school. Seven are Ivy Leaguers, and one did not finish college. Bobby Jindal, perhaps, has the best education. He graduated from Brown, one of those Ivy League schools, and Oxford in England.

And finally, there's religion. Eight candidates in 2016 are Catholic. There's been only one U.S. President who was Catholic. Baptists make up the largest denomination in Crittenden County. Three candidates, including an ordained minister, are declared Southern Baptists. There are three Methodists, and one who has declared to not be a part of organized religion.

By clicking on the image above, you can download or print our specially-created chart with the candidates’ age, residence, occupation, military experience, education and religion. The chart includes all declared presidential candidates – Democrat and GOP – as well as Biden, who is still weighing his options for the 2016 election.

And we haven’t forgotten the big Nov. 3 election in Kentucky. Starting next week and running for six weeks, we will preview in our print edition the races for state offices, culminating with the contest for governor.