With the presidential debates heating up, we’ve been asked to do an article on some of the main presidential candidates for the upcoming 2016 United States election.
[Updated October 14, 2015]
We have broken most of the Republican and Democratic candidates, and given a small summary of the reasons why.
Donald Trump (ESTP)
There is no more polarizing candidate in the presidential election than Donald Trump. Love him or hate him, but you certainly can’t ignore him.
We have typed Donald Trump as ESTP, and can’t really see any other type that would fit. Trump has had some people type him as ESTJ, and while he might play up that image in certain situations, we just don’t see it. ESTP types lead with Extraverted Sensing and are very skilled at navigating the social world. He is also a very skilled entertainer, and knows what to say to keep the spotlight on him.
You may think that some of his ideas are rather simplistic and impractical, but you have to admit Trump has found a way to identify and connect with the pain points of many Americans, as he continues to lead in the Republican polls. Trump has used his Extraverted Sensing and Extraverted Feeling to find talking points that work, and continues to use them to persuade voters.
Trump also uses Introverted Thinking. He has said numerous times that he isn’t afraid to change his stances in the face of convincing evidence. While some might want to call him a flip-flopper, he has found a way to make his willingness to admit he is wrong rather endearing considering his stereotypically arrogant bravado.
Trump is a businessman and a calculated risk taker. This is an ESTP and ENTP specialty and he is no different. However, I do not see much about him that reflects ENTP. His ESTP salesman type skills also come out loud and clear, as he wastes no time using an opportunity to name-drop and talk his brand up.
Trump is also a skilled linguist. He is a master at controlling conversations and redirecting them. His Extraverted Sensing is so in the moment that he can size people up and find just the right words to sway public opinion. His Extraverted Feeling also comes into play with anyone that speaks unfavorably about him. He tends to be very cordial and flattering to everyone, unless they speak poorly of him. Say what you will about Trump, but his tactics are working and helping him lead in the polls.
Bernie Sanders (INTP)
No one has seen a bigger grassroots movement over the past year than Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders does not look like a typical politician, and that is part of his charm. Bernie Sanders is very skilled at appealing to an audience.
Bernie is an older candidate but you can tell that his is a curious person and has developed wisdom over the years. Bernie takes a very logical approach and has adapted his stances, which is typical of Introverted Thinking. Bernie constantly talks about looking to find common ground, and believes it can be achieved. This shows his mix of Extraverted Intuition, and his inferior Extraverted Feeling, which comes out in slightly awkward, but passionate ways.
Bernie’s Extraverted Feeling allows him to really connect and resonate with the middle class. He understands that they are struggling, and he is dedicated to coming up with solutions (as a problem solving INTP). Bernie has been through a lot, and uses his experience to his advantage. The world is looking for a cause or person to connect with, and Bernie is finding ways to resonate with the people.
Bernie may come off to some as an INTJ, however I do not see it. Bernie Sanders has developed a track record of getting things done, which might not be typical of less mature INTPs. However, there are countless instances of more mature INTPs finding ways to take action and get things done. His experimentation style demonstrates Extraverted Intuition more than Introverted Intuition’s desire to just find something that works.
Many opponents find Bernie’s fiscal policy to be a bit unrealistic, as he is promising many things that might be difficult to actually deliver on once he gets in office. None-the-less, no one can argue that Bernie is an inspiring man filled with good intentions.
Rand Paul (ISTP)
There have been quite a few people that have been eagerly awaiting Rand Paul entering into the presidential race. Rand Paul is the son of the previous election’s favorite Libertarian candidate Ron Paul (INFJ). Rand Paul has a bit more no-nonsense logical approach to this election than his more fiery father.
Rand asks some common sense questions like “why are we still fighting the War? What is our objective now?” Rand believes in fiscal responsibility and thinks that government spending is running rampant. Rand Paul leads with Introverted Thinking, and wants things to make sense. He preaches common sense, and wants the financials to add up. The downfall of this, is that politics are a complicated and messy world, and while his thoughts make sense, it remains to be seen if his Libertarian ideals can be implemented without a complete revolt. Some people think he is an INTJ, but most INTJs come off as more cordial and slightly more detached than Rand. He want’s to “fix” America in a typical problem solving ISTP fashion.
Chris Christie (ESFP)
Chris Christie is without a doubt an ESFP. You can tell by just looking at him that he leads with Extraverted Sensing. He is a larger guy, and uses a commanding presence to intimidate and get his point across with authority. Behind the Bravado, you can see that he is a rather happy go lucky guy. He knows how to entertain and make others laugh, and certainly isn’t afraid of the spotlight (just like most ESFP entertainers).
Christie knows how to schmooze the right people and do what he needs to do to keep his position. However, he has a track record of boneheaded lapses in judgement. These problems result from living in the moment and not being particularly strong in foresight. This is because Se doms feel they can get themselves out of any situation they are in. And despite these problems, his still holds his position in office and remains a rather likable guy.
Hillary Clinton (ENTJ)
Hillary Clinton has been in the spotlight for years. There is not much to say about her that hasn’t already been said. One notable observation is her transition from a more passive first lady while her husband Bill (ENFP) was in office, to her more assertive and intimidating persona when she first ran for president and in her role as Secretary of Defense. ENTJs know how to navigate the political world, and Hillary is no different. She knew how to be a first lady, and she knows how to position herself as a strong women in her run for presidency. Her dominant Extraverted Thinking shines through as she has a desire to organize her external environment.
She had everything well planned out, and looked to be a lock to be the United States’ first ever female president. Unfortunately, the embarrassing leak of her private email server and confidential conversations has painted her in a very unfavorable light. Many people have said that her public opinion right now is seen as untrustworthy, and it will take a lot of work to regain and recover from this blow so close to an election.
Jim Webb (ISTJ)
Jim Webb is rather direct at to the point. He is not afraid to make sure he gets his message across. A former veteran of the Vietnam war, and Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. He has strong ideals and ethics that he stands steadfastly by. He wants to educate the public along with his campaign run.
Martin O’Malley (ENFJ)
Martin O’Malley is well dressed and well spoken. He speaks in an empathetic tone that resonates well with the middle class. He is very well put together and constantly talks about bringing people together. He constantly talks about a vision and ideas that he wants to implement to bring the country forward.
Lincoln Chafee (ENFP)
Lincoln Chafee is the prototypical ENFP. He is very well spoken, always smiling, and doesn’t particularly enjoy conflict. You can see the idealism in his eyes, and his determination to his ideals. He has been through a lot and fights to make sure he gets his points across. Even though he has switched from Republican to Democrat, he’s committed to showing that his stances have never changed, which is a testament to his Introverted Feeling. He also has some novel stances which show his Extraverted Intuition, such as wanting to change the United States to the metric system.
Ben Carson (ISTJ)
Ben Carson is another candidate that has really made a name for himself over the past few months. Ben is a doctor and neurosurgeon, which makes his background unique and his credentials automatically give him an air of intelligence and authority. Ben is a rather soft spoken individual, but you can tell he is a man of integrity and sticks by his word. Ben is a devout Christian, which certainly will impact some votes.
You can tell Carson leads with Introverted Sensing as he is set in his ways, which has caused some to question his sensitivity. However, others have seen his steadfastness as an endearing trait and feel that someone with strong integrity is just what the country needs right now. This has helped him shoot all the way up the Republican polls to number 2, just behind the Donald.
Joe Biden (ESFP)
Joe Biden is another example of an exemplified ESFP. Biden is always entertaining, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Sometimes it gets him into a bit of trouble, but he always find a way to get himself out of it. Biden is a rather likable guy, and isn’t afraid to make fun of himself. However, because of this some question his ability to reel it in and be the president. Some might think Biden is ESTP, but he is a bit more of a ham and doesn’t have the same brashness that ESTPs can display from time to time. It remains to be seen if Biden runs for president, but his name has been tossed around quite a bit.
Carly Fiorina (INTJ)
Carly Fiorina is an interesting candidate that has shot up the rankings after a strong showing in the first Republican Debate. Carly is most well known for being the CEO of HP (Hewlett Packard). She is a well composed, no nonsense type that you can tell is tough minded. Carly leads with Introverted Intuition and is big on telling her vision of the future of the country. She is very logical and her ideas are well thought out. You can see in the debates that she has trouble adapting on the fly, as Donald Trump used the opportunity to toss out that she was not a very successful CEO at HP with some specific examples. She was caught off guard, and vehemently denied his opinion, but it was still enough to become a major talking point after the debate. It remains to be seen if Carly can recover and continue her rise to potentially be the first female president.
Jeb Bush (ISFJ)
Jeb Bush comes from a very well known family and definitely has that stigma attached to him, for better or worse. However, you can notice differences between him and his brother George (ESTJ) almost immediately. Jeb Bush has self identified as an introvert, and it is easy to see. He does not exactly look like a natural on stage. Trump has repeatedly said that Jeb is “low energy” as a way to deflate him and paint him in a negative light.
Jeb also seems to struggle with adapting on the fly to witty retorts and slights. Jeb seems a bit detached from the middle class (his lead Introverted Sensing makes it hard to relate to what he hasn’t personally experienced), and Trump and other candidates have found ways to spin his words and make him look like a bad, insensitive guy.
For what it’s worth, Jeb seems like a nice guy that would go out of his way to take care of the people he cares about which is typical of ISFJs. He certainly can make a strong push for presidency, but he will have to polish his act a bit more if he wants to stay in the running.
Elizabeth Warren (INFP)
Elizabeth Warren is a passionate individual that brings a lot of energy and idealism with her. She has been known to get worked up, and its clear to see the passion behind what she is saying. Some might worry that she is overly idealistic, but she has definitely built up a following. Elizabeth Warren has said she is not running for president, but there is still speculation that her decision may change.
Warren quote with strong emotional appeals:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Marco Rubio (ENFJ)
Marco Rubio has really made a name for himself and certainly looks the part of a potential presidential candidate. He is a very well dressed, well groomed, and well spoken. He speaks in a way that shows understanding and empathy with his Extraverted Feeling, which is exactly what the middle class is looking for right now.
Marco passionately fights for his stances, and has an overall vision for the country that he would like to see achieved. Rubio also has Extraverted Sensing, which helps convey a sense of presence and authority on stage. Many people have said he is the “fall back candidate.” Don’t be surprised if he continues to move up the polls as the race to the election shakes out.
Scott Walker (ESTP)
Scott Walker has really made a name for himself in Wisconsin with his policies that lead to the disbanding of many unions. These moves were certainly controversial, but it is also a testament to his ability to get things done. ESTPs are known for their skills in navigating the political world, and finding ways to force their will into concrete action. Scott Walker is no different. Walker has recently dropped out of the election, but don’t be surprised to see his name pop up again in the upcoming years.
Ted Cruz (ESTJ)
Ted Cruz seems to be the favorite candidate of Fox News and his name has been in the running for a while now. Cruz has been tied to the political world for a long time, and has built up strong connections in doing so. Cruz has put his time in to move up the ranks, which is typical of many ESTJs. Cruz has an impressive resume, filled with important positions and notable designations. I really can’t see him being any other type than ESTJ. He is rather outspoken. Some people have typed him as ESTP, but I don’t see an Extraverted Sensing dom. He is a pretty straightforward guy, with a bit of bravado, but it’s in more of a traditional ESTJ “tough guy” way.