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Many signs indicate that 2016 could be shaping up as a campaign dominated by the economy as a big point of focus by the candidates. Just a few short days into 2015, many candidates have already begun touting their economic plans and pointing out the issues currently facing many Americans, especially the middle class.

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Report from State Column:

What other issue could take center stage during the 2016 presidential election in this economy?

Many non-candidates in the race have been focusing their aim towards jobs, economics, and the income disparity gap over the past weeks in a nod to what will most likely be the hot-button issue of the 2016 campaign.

They seem to be taking a cue from Elizabeth Warren, whose populist messages about the depravity of Wall Street have struck a chord with disenfranchised voters. However, as Warren is insistent she will stay on the sidelines throughout the 2016 race, there is a vacuum of rhetoric waiting to be filled by another charismatic politician.

“Voters, particularly in presidential contests, want their candidates to be able to answer in the affirmative the question, ‘Does this person understand the problems of people like me?”” said former Romney adviser Kevin Madden to the Associated Press. “This is a departure from the last campaign, where the focus was on drawing contrasts with the president and reminding voters what they didn’t like or shouldn’t like about Obama’s economic record.”

Hillary Clinton, who many have already anointed Democratic nominee, took the first shot on Friday when she broke her recent bout of silence and tweeted a critique of Congress. “Attacking financial reform is risky and wrong,” tweeted Clinton. “Better for Congress to focus on jobs and wages for middle class families.”

Not to be upstaged, Mitt Romney took to the podium later that day to address the Republican National Committee, where he announced three “pillars” on which he would base his campaign (if he decided to run, that is) two of which focus on the downtrodden American worker: opportunity for all and ending poverty in America. “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before,” said Romney.

As one political consultant famously said, it’s the economy, stupid. That may be true, but I’m also seeing signs that voters are becoming increasingly concerned with foreign policy and America’s response to terrorism more specifically. Obviously the recent terrorist attack in Paris coupled with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has brought this issue front and center once again.

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