Last week in South Carolina, Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign. As more states have cast their votes, less-successful candidates have begun leaving the race. Unfortunately, Jeb is no exception.
However, one surprise candidate is now taking the GOP by storm. Bej Hedge has been making great strides in his initial campaign, gaining as much as nine percent in national polls in the last week.
To many Democrats and some Republicans, this new candidate and his shrouded origins seem very suspicious. Many are demanding his birth certificate, and others wish to see him deported from the country due to the possibility of him being an illegal immigrant.
To others, however, Bej is a breath of fresh air. The hot topic of this election cycle is whether or not a candidate is a “career politician.” As there’s no history of Bej Hedge’s existence before last week, there’s no voting history to come back to haunt him. Political science senior Evelyn Tajna feels that Bej’s shrouded past keeps him interesting to the public.
“Amidst a slew of people with established platforms,” Tanja notes, “a wildcard candidate like Bej keeps voters on their toes.” Hedge has also been successful in getting people to watch the Republican debates. According to CNN, last Thursday’s debate brought in 14.5 million people, the highest number since last December.
According to interest polls of debate viewers, 46 percent of viewers said their main reason for watching the debate was to learn more about Bej’s views. Another 18 percent wanted to see how he will react to Donald Trump’s bombastic nature.
Hedge was impressively civil in the debate, consistently focusing on the issues and not getting caught up in other candidate’s often volatile discourse. Trump was not afraid to attack Hedge, calling him “the new joke candidate since Bush left.” He also urged the American people to “demand to know his birthplace because I’ve got a million bucks on Guatemala!”
Despite attacks, Hedge’s choice to take the high road has given the GOP an excellent foil and competitor to Trump’s aggressive nature.
With three important states’ votes already cast and Super Tuesday in just a day, Bej has a long way to go in a short amount of time to become the frontrunner.
Tanja feels that this is a strategic position on Hedge’s part, suspecting that “his novelty may lead people to the polls.” Only time will tell whether Hedge is able to cut down the competition.