With the presidential election just two months away, politicians are battling it out for the hearts and minds of voters across America. For many of us as college students, this upcoming election is most likely the first political motion we are paying close attention to. It is an important turn in American history and many of us are now eligible to decide who gets to run the country. However, since our country’s first Presidential election in 1788, the strategies of campaigning and candidates have changed dramatically.
Focus: Debates, television appearance and social media have had a powerful effect on how candidates are perceived. Years ago, presidential campaigns were focused on what plans each candidate had in store for the nation. Issues such as economy, terrorism and health care were the main focus of interest. Yet these days, campaigns run by the candidates just seem to attack the other candidates. Instead of making progressive plans, their tactics and strategies involve their opponent.
Voting Rights: The first U.S. president was elected in 1789, but at the time, only white men who owned property could vote. Throughout the years, the addition of the Fifteenth, Nineteenth and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the Constitution have since expanded the right of suffrage to all citizens over 18. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle and victories took decades of agitation and protest. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women today have cast more votes than men in every presidential election since 1964.
First female presidential candidate: Representation matters and women have a major presence in national politics. Ninety-six years after women won the right to vote, a woman has a chance of winning the election. Over the past 80 years, willingness to vote for a woman for president has increased dramatically. When Gallup first asked people about voting for a woman for president in 1937, only a third said they would do so. Since 1987, more than 80 percent of Americans have given that response and in June 2015, 92 percent did, according to PBS.
From the style of campaigning to the nominees, there is no doubt that the presidential election is ever evolving. Don’t forget to vote on Nov. 8!