The following is an excerpt from Sam Levine | November 8, 2015 | Huffingtonpost.com |
Believe it or not, American voters aren't going to elect a president anytime soon.
In fact, Americans won't choose the next White House occupant until Nov. 8, 2016, exactly one year from now. The first presidential nominating contest of the cycle will be the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.
Still, that hasn't stopped anyone from focusing on weekly polls and candidate gaffes -- all of which may mean nothing in a year. Here are a few of the stories, big and small, that have shaped the presidential cycle so far.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has had to answer questions about her exclusive use of a private email account while she was secretary of state. The New York Times first reported on it in March, and Clinton initially downplayed the issue, saying she simply used a personal account out of convenience, followed regulations and had turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department. After launching her campaign, she continued to dismiss the controversy, saying her email use didn't matter to voters and even joking about the controversy.
At the beginning of September, Clinton finally apologized for her private email use. The FBI is investigating whether sensitive material was improperly stored on Clinton's private server, and the State Department is slowly making Clinton's messages public.
Even though the issue has dragged on, it has sometimes played to Clinton's advantage. The former secretary of state gave an impressive performance last month when she testified for 11 hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which initially discovered her personal email use. There was also loud applause during last month's Democratic debate when her Democratic challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said Americans were "sick and tired of hearing about [Clinton's] damn emails." Sanders has since said, however, that the investigation into Clinton's emails should continue.
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