The establishment of both parties are having a difficult time connecting and unifying party loyalists, more so on the GOP side. Despite the efforts to carefully craft and vet messages, voters seek more than offered by the perceived establishment in our two leading political parties. After one disingenuous speech after another, voters find many candidates, outside the normal set, more appealing than one would predict.
For many GOP voters, the constant parade of candidates espousing many conservative principles on the campaign trail, only to abandon them upon election, provided candidates like Donald Trump a forum to run on. Despite putting forth bold proposals with little to back it up, many prospective voters connect with the abrasive New York candidate that speaks his mind. In spite of the divisive and controversial remarks made on the trail, his support yet to waver. But for GOP candidates stigmatized by the label of establishment, they bear the burden of proving beyond their records and experience that the words spoken will lead to actions taken.
For the inevitable one, Hillary Clinton, she is struggling to fend off Bernie Sanders, a stiffer challenge than many would believe. Although Clinton has an easier path to the nomination, Sanders is viewed by voters stronger in key categories like trustworthiness and caring than Clinton. While her name recognition provides a stronger chance of competing in the general election, voters appear to be more comfortable, at least in Iowa and NH, with Sanders, a candidate that is out of touch. If Sanders does well with non pledged delegates, the voters, but loses due to the massive lead in super delegates, the elite, Clinton possesses, it would be hard to make the case that the Democrats did not ignore the will of its base.
For far too long, candidates seeking office served as channels for power brokers in their respective parties. The influence can be seen in policies, speeches, and media, which is why traditional media struggles against new innovative outlets. If the establishments are able to put through their candidates, with narrow majorities, the prospects of multiple legitimate independent candidates, including possibly Michael Bloomberg, would make 2016 a truly measure of our democracy. In 2016, America is rising against the establishment.