As an independent voter who can't vote in the primary, I won't be voting in the 2016 Presidential race this spring. And I lack in-depth inside knowledge (or any kind of in-depth knowledge for that matter!) about the candidates. But I won't let that stop me from giving my possibly biased opinion on the front runners based on very limited information.
Donald Trump seems to be on top in the Republican polls. The fact that so many persons who claim to be Christians support him astonishes me. The way he speaks scares me about what he might do if he became President. A recent column by Paul Prather titled "The mystery of Christians' support for Donald Trump is solved" (published in the January 31, 2016 Lexington Herald-Leader and on its website Kentucky.com) discusses a study that offered reasons why persons support Trump. That study may provide some reasons why Trump is so popular and maybe why Hitler was so popular among many German Christians. It's unfair to compare Trump to Hitler, although Trump's views (and the way he speaks them) seem radical in some ways.
Hillary Clinton leads the Democratic polls. She and her husband have been involved in various scandals, and I am a bit astonished at how much support she has. One of the scandals allegedly even involved a body found in the White House during her husband's Presidency. Others involved his numerous extramarital affairs and incidents of sexual abuse that she apparently helped cover up. I will spare you the details of the various scandals.
Second place in Republican polls is Ted Cruz. Cruz espouses many conservative Christian values, and his legal career indicates he has done much to defend them in the legal system. I am an ecumenical Christian who is very conservative on some issues (like Cruz), but I am also very liberal on some issues (as I think Jesus was and true Christians are). I feel Cruz would find it very difficult to do all the things the President is supposed to do on all things. Cruz seems too narrowly focused on his particular denominational brand of conservative Christian values to be effective overall with all people on all issues.
Second place in Democratic Polls is Bernie Sanders. Personally, as a person who loves college, quality health care, job opportunities, etc., I love Bernie Sanders' commitment to free college tuition, a single payer healthcare program, a jobs program, and so forth. You can read about more of his proposed "freebies" on his website. However, I'm not confident Sanders can succeed in paying for all those freebies. Some sources claim that his proposals would cost $15 trillion. A Wall Street Journal piece (http://www.wsj.com/articles/price-tag-of-bernie-sanders-proposals-18-trillion-1442271511)
listed their price tag at $18 trillion. Maybe voters will think their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, Santa Claus, or others will pay for those freebies and thus will elect Sanders. If so, I will not be very surprised. I am not optimistic about Sanders' programs succeeding, but given Trump's mouth, Clinton's scandals, Cruz's conservative values alienating him from the majority, Sanders may win. Voters often seem to love grand promises.
In addition to the four front runners (two each in the Republican and Democratic parties) discussed above, there are several other candidates running. And in the general election in November there will likely be some independent candidates running as well as candidates from the minor parties.
So, voters who go to the polls will have several candidates to choose from, including some write-in candidates in all likelihood. Who knows? I may even mount a write-in campaign myself if I get fed up enough with the available choices. But it's more likely I'll put off my own campaign until at least 2020. (How does seeking 20/20 vision for 2020 sound for a campaign slogan?) It will be better yet, if someone else decides to run in 2016 and 2020 who is far better qualified than me or the candidates leading in the polls. I'm confident that among the millions of eligible persons in this country there is someone available.
If I were voting today and could vote in a primary election, I would probably vote for Rand Paul. He is a very independent-minded person willing to stand up against party leaders. I love his commitment to cut military spending and abuses and several other of his views. His campaign's website https://www.randpaul.com/ lists his views. Of course I don't agree with him on everything, and I think he may be a bit radical in some ways, but hey, at least he's a Kentuckian, so I'm voting for "radical" from my own state.
At any rate, I pray for God's perfect will for the upcoming scheduled 2016 Presidential election and for all things.
NOTE: This article is virtually identical to one the author published on another website earlier today (January 31, 2016).