Trump’s image was tarnished by the publicity surrounding his separations and divorces.

Who is Trump up against?
In an article published by the New York Times on 14 August 2015 titled “Who is running for president?”, the New York Times illustrated the candidates from both parties who have announced their bids to run for president of their respective parties. In the Democrat camp, a major contender is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s lead, however, is being narrowed by Bernie Sanders, a US Senator with his eyes on the presidential nomination as well.

In the Republican camp, Trump will hope to get ahead of the large Republican nomination list of over a dozen candidates, including Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida and Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey. According to a survey conducted by The Economist/YouGov released on 9 July 2015, one in four Republicans who are registered to vote would place Trump as their first or second choice. This poll has become significant because it is one of the first major nationwide polls to show Trump as a frontrunner for the presidency.

The question of funding
Funding is a vital component for any presidential campaign, but the Trump campaign seems to be in control of the issue. According to the Wall Street Journal in an article published on 16 July 2015, Trump has loaned $1, 8 million to his presidential campaign and has managed to raise $100 000 in addition. Trump has thus been able to fulfil his promise to self-finance his campaign.

A no-nonsense candidacy
In an article by CNN Politics titled “What would a Donald Trump administration look like?”, Trump’s presidential plans are discussed. One such plan includes deporting the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants on US soil and then allowing “the good ones” to return and gain legal status through an “expedited process”.

Trump’s style has been known to be controversial and confrontational, as seen in his comments on immigration as well as the comments made with regard to current US president Barack Obama’s citizenship. In fact, in 2012 Trump challenged Obama to release personal records proving that he was a citizen of the US in exchange for a $5 million donation to charity.

Trump’s controversial comments
On 16 June 2015, Trump announced his presidential campaign in a somewhat controversial speech. In this speech, Trump made contentious statements regarding immigration, as well as the relations between the US and other countries. Trump’s comments regarding Mexicans were particularly controversial. Trump stated that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” His comments received a strong backlash and many celebrities, including Ricky Martin and America Ferrera, have condemned them. According to an article published by CNN Money on 25 June, Trump’s words also led to Univision, the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the US, cancelling its telecast of the Miss USA pageant, partially owned by Trump, to protest against his offensive remarks.

The right man for the job?
Trump’s campaign slogan is to “make America great again”, but many have argued that Trump may not even win the Republican presidential nomination. According to CNN Politics, Trump may come “face to face with his own words” as his views, which were documented in his book in 2000 titled “The America We Deserve”, have changed considerably. In his book, Trump stated that “we must have universal healthcare”, but Trump has since been a staunch opposer of Obamacare, even promising to “repeal and replace Obamacare” at a rally in Alabama. Trump has also changed his views on endorsing abortion rights. He told CNN that while he still supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and cases where abortion is necessary for the safety of the mother, he had changed his position surrounding choosing abortion. He has also changed his view and hardened his stance on guns.

If Trump is elected into the Oval Office, he will be the first US president who is a billionaire, was the subject of a Comedy Central roast, and the second president to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Image: Shen Scott

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