Charisma Caucus

An Analysis of the Primary Presidential Candidates

Presidential Candidates
Joseph Mattera weighs in on the remaining presidential candidates. (Reuters photo)

As of now, the presidential race is still wide open. The following are some brief snapshots related to my observations of the major candidates.

Democratic Candidates

Hillary Clinton

Hillary and Bill have both been involved in so many scandals, they could have a Clinton Library just with all the allegations, facts and issues related to their malfeasance. I cannot imagine another four to eight years of a Clinton being front and center as the president of our nation!

Bernie Sanders

As an avowed radical socialist, he is advocating an economic system akin to Marxism and Communism that has fallen flat in the world! The 20th century proved that nations that attempt to enact Marxist ideology fall into tyranny and poverty. Furthermore, even a mild socialistic system would not comport with the entrepreneurial spirit and DNA of the USA. Bernie seems like a very nice man, and would be more pleasant to have as president then Hillary—but I believe would be a disaster for our nation!

Republican Candidates

Donald Trump

The Donald is proving that you can make a huge impact if you do not care about being politically correct.  People on both sides of the aisle seem to be excited about him—his followers include Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, young and old. Though the Republican establishment doesn't want to touch him with a ten-foot poll—he is actually reaching outside of the Republican conservative box, which is what the establishment has been trying to do for years. Although he is saying many things that sound conservative—some conservative evangelicals are concerned that he is a clandestine progressive who will choose a liberal Supreme Court Justice if given the chance. Many Christians are also concerned about his position regarding immigration. In spite of these issues, more and more evangelical leaders are getting behind him, and one prominent conservative leader recently said to me that he believes that it seems that God's hand is on Trump. If it came down to Trump vs. Hillary or Bernie—the Donald would most likely capture most of the conservative evangelical vote in my opinion. His biggest challenge may be in getting the percentage of Hispanic voters needed to win the general election.

Ted Cruz

Out of all the candidates, Ted is no doubt the closest to conservatives in regards to ideology and espousing the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. He is also a solid, committed Christian intellectual. However one of his greatest strengths is the fact that he already has the ability to lay out in detail policies and procedures for all of his ideas. Unfortunately, there is also grumbling among some conservative leaders that he has a hard time connecting with young people and women, that he is unnecessarily harsh in some of his words and extreme in some of his methodologies.

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio seemed to have the best attributes needed for a conservative candidate: He was a young visionary leader with a solid conservative record, who also has an amazing ability as an orator. Because Jeb Bush has been doing so poorly, the establishment Republicans have moved over to support Rubio. Some are concerned that he has great style but not enough substance and detailed plans for his policies. Many others think he has the best chance in a general election to defeat the Democratic candidate because he can probably garner more then 35 percent of the Hispanic vote in addition to his appeal to the general Republican and conservative base

Jeb Bush

Bush was a very effective governor of Florida with a conservative agenda, with a lot of money and the Republican establish behind his campaign. In spite of all this, he has done poorly in the polls—perhaps because of his last name? He also did not seem to be very comfortable in many of the early debates.

Ben Carson

Ben is a gentleman and a scholar as well as a brilliant thinker. Because he is so soft spoken, he is often overlooked and (inaccurately) accused of having low energy. He has also not had as much opportunity as some others to answer debate questions, and has had to learn quickly the "dog eat dog" world of politics. I think he would be a great statesman and would hope he would be the choice for VP if he does not get the presidential nomination.

Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, futurist, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He leads several organizations, including The United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders ( He also has a blog on Charisma magazine called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to

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