The US Primary Election is well under way, with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire having already cast their votes to decide who will represent the Republicans and the Democrats for the 2016 US Presidential Election.
This is the beginning of a very long journey to the White House and the remaining candidates can look forward to the rest of their grueling campaigns, with four months left of the primaries and nine months to go until the nationwide Presidential Election vote.
The Caucuses in Iowa and the Primaries in New Hampshire have produced interesting results for both parties.
For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders has made a very good start to his campaign, winning the popular vote in New Hampshire and leveling with Hilary Clinton in Iowa.
This spells a remarkable rise in the polls for Sanders, who had the backing of just 4% of the Democrat electorate just over a year ago, and is now supported by 32% of Democrat supporters. In comparison, Hilary’s support has slightly declined over the past year, down from 59% to 50% amongst Democrat voters.
However, Hilary is still the clear bookies favourite to win the Democrat presidential nomination, not least because of the amount of superdelegates she has behind her. Because she is favoured by so many of the superdelegates, it could mean that Hilary will win the Democrat nomination, even if she doesn’t beat Sanders in the popular vote.
The Republican side of the campaign is also very interesting to follow, with the controversial businessman Donald Trump currently leading the polls in the US.
Donald Trump didn’t even appear on the opinion polls this time a year ago and only started drumming up support in June 2015 when he announced he was running for President. Since then Trump hasn’t looked back and has led in the opinion polls since July, with the latest poll putting him 27% ahead of second place Ted Cruz, according to Morning Consult.
Trump has started his campaign well, narrowly losing in Iowa but substantially winning in New Hampshire. However there is still a very long way to go and Trump has some stiff competition in the likes of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and even Jeb Bush, who is still hanging in there.
As demonstrated by both the rise of Sanders and Trump, a year in politics is an extremely long time and a lot can change during the primary campaign, which still has four months left to run.
With Super Tuesday on the horizon (March 1), the candidates will be working hard to win the backing of the US population, and have Nevada and South Carolina to win before-hand.
It is certain that there will be many twists and turns in this election and it will be very interesting to see the developments over the next few weeks.