Editor’s Note: This post was written by Eric Brower.
With some of the biggest days in the primary process in the books, let’s take a step back and take a lighter look at the campaigns. Get your headphones ready, here are the theme songs for some of the most noteworthy presidential candidates of the 2016 cycle.
Marco Rubio: “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay (2008)
Rubio had strong showings in Nevada and South Carolina after dismal results in New Hampshire. Rubio collected many endorsements and appeared to be the party’s establishment, anti-Trump candidate…for about a week. Super Tuesday spoiled his comeback and he has fallen significantly behind Trump and Cruz in the delegate count. Many are now calling on him to save face and drop out of the race. Rubio once had the chance to rule the party, but the chance seems to have slipped away.
Donald Trump: “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift (2014)
Trump (a.k.a. “The Fella Over There with the Hella Good Hair”) has been “shaking it off” since his entry into the race. Allegations of fraud, support from white supremacists, and racist statements have been easily deflected by his campaign. The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, but so far they haven’t affected Trump’s support. Trump has won many contests in the cycle and leads the Republican delegate count.
Bernie Sanders: “My Generation” by The Who (1965)
Sanders has undoubtedly made the Millennials his generation. The Senator from the Green Mountain State has locked down 18-30 year-old support in many regions. This demographic has aided Sanders to victories in numerous states and dealt Hillary Clinton some losses and uncomfortably close races.
Ted Cruz: “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West (2004)
Cruz came on the scene as the candidate appealing to conservative, evangelical voters in the Republican Party. This was perhaps best highlighted with his 99 Pastors effort in Iowa and his favorable showings in the Bible Belt on Super Tuesday. Cruz has risen as a key anti-Trump candidate and is currently second in the delegate count to Trump.
Jeb(!) Bush: “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan (1966)
“But I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned,” Bob Dylan complains about his decisions constantly being ripped apart by the media. Bush, similarly, bared the stonings of a vicious Republican field—particularly from Trump. Trump and Bush routinely had back and forth attacks with Trump usually dealing the more cutting blows.
Hillary Clinton: “The Ruler’s Back” by Jay-Z (2001)
Clinton has returned to the primary scene after her 2008 campaign and has dominated the Democrat race. Though Sanders put up strong showings in a few of the early states, Clinton has pulled ahead in endorsements, states won, and the overall delegate count. Clinton is expected to clinch the nomination from the Democrats by a healthy margin over Sanders.
John Kasich: “Come Together” by The Beatles (1969)
John Kasich has become something of an alternative to the seemingly constant bickering and attacks among Rubio, Trump, and Cruz. On the debate stage, Kasich has assumed a more calm, collected, and issue-oriented demeanor to counter the theatrics of the top three contenders. Kasich, though behind in the delegate count, remains in the race largely in a bid to attempt a win in his home state of Ohio. Kasich’s recent strategy seems to be to unite support from those who have been disillusioned by the arguing within the party.
Ben Carson: “4’33″” by John Cage (1952)
Carson can best be noted for his relaxing, kind, and non-confrontational persona throughout the race, even toward people he disagreed with. Due to this character, Carson was often overshadowed by more vocal and attention-grabbing candidates like Trump, Cruz, and Rubio—especially in the later phases of his campaign. The song that was selected for Carson’s campaign was, therefore, an experimental classical composition in which the performer sits in front of a perfectly good instrument, totally silent, for four and a half minutes.