When we kicked off this election cycle, many pundits (including myself) asserted that it would be the “foreign policy election” we’ve all been waiting for. Our prediction has played out, but with a twist: Americans want to know what the candidates think about ISIS, asylum, and the military, but we’re increasingly interested in what the political “outsiders” have to say about them.

In fact, we’re interested in what they have to say about everything. Whether it’s because we crave a fresh perspective, the novelty of the moment, or merely to watch them eventually stumble, the polls show that when Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina—the top 3 outsiders currently charming their way into the inner circle—speak, Americans like what they’re hearing.

It’s not exactly shocking; disenchantment with Beltway politics and political insidership has spread beyond the conservative base and into the broader demographic of primary voters. It’s not a matter of those candidates who have more political experience being bad—although you’re free to disagree with me about one particular candidate or another—it’s just that a candidate who comes from somewhere other than the Beltway seems so much more appealing. Even tea party favorites like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (although Rubio’s poll numbers have increased dramatically since the last debate) haven’t quite cracked through the wall separating those with an official connection to Washington politics from those who offer a different perspective.

Trump, Carson, and Fiorina are outsiders together, but that’s where the comparisons should end. All three have displayed an impressive ability to connect with voters at an unprecedented level, and all three have developed a discrete way of doing it. Trump, with his bombast; Carson, with his quiet dignity; Fiorina, with her ability to shut down the opposition with a heaping spoonful of honey.

Between the three of them, they have the spectrum covered—and now many are saying (hoping? Take it to the comments) that one of them will end up at the top of the ticket next year.

Never say never, I say.

They may not be your favorites. They may not even be on your radar; but if you had to choose one of these outsiders to lead the charge in 2016, who would it be?


Poll closes Thursday at midnight PST

Featured Image via CS Monitor

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