Here’s the Music Candidates are Rocking Out to on the Trail

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I was supposed to be writing a wrap-up piece about the South Carolina Republican primary this afternoon, but an attack of writers’ block led me to more inspiring territory: the compilation of the (mostly) complete music playlists of every candidate I’ve seen speak over the last two weeks, in New Hampshire and now South Carolina. Shazam: It’s every political reporter’s best friend.

This list is incomplete, and can change a lot depending on the candidate’s audience or the whims of the artist (heaven forbid Rachel Platten decides to endorse Bernie Sanders). I don’t ascribe any deeper meaning to these musical selections either, although suffice it to say there is a pretty big difference between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and for that matter, between Donald Trump and everyone else.

See for yourself.

Hillary Clinton:

  • Jill Scott, “Run, Run, Run”
  • Mary J. Blige, “Real Love”
  • Katy Perry, “Roar”
  • Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger”
  • American Authors, “Best Day of My Life”
  • Bon Jovi, “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
  • Pharrell, “Happy”
  • Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”

Bernie Sanders:

  • Simon and Garfunkel, “America”
  • Janelle Monae, “Tightrope”
  • Pearl Jam, “Lightning Bolt”
  • Bob Marley, “Revolution”
  • Disco Infernor, “The trammps”
  • Muse, “Uprising”
  • John Lennon, “Power to the People!”
  • Tracy Chapman, “Talkin’ bout a Revolution”
  • Steve Earle, “The Revolution Starts Now”
  • Neil Young, “Rockin’ the Free World”

John Kasich:

  • Florida Georgia Line, “Round Here”
  • Zak Brown Band, “Jump Right In”
  • Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
  • Jake Owen, “Anywhere With You”
  • Diekes Bentley, “Free & Easy”
  • Rodney Atkins, “It’s America”
  • John Fogerty, “Centerfield”
  • Eric Paslay, “Friday Night”

Marco Rubio:

  • Kid Rock, “Born Free”
  • Montgomery Gentry, “This is My Town”
  • Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
  • MercyMe, “Greater”
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”

Donald Trump:

  • Elton John, “Tiny Dancer”
  • The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
  • The Beatles, “Revolution”
  • Rolling Stones, “Can’t Always Get What You Want”
  • Rolling Stone, “Sympathy for the Devil”
  • Rolling Stone, “Brown sugar”
  • Adele, “Rolling in the deep”*
  • Twisted Sister, “We’re not Gonna Take It”
  • Danude, “Sandstorm”

Jeb Bush:

  • Of Monsters and Men, “Dirty Paws”
  • Blake Shelton, “Hillbilly Bone”
  • Billy Currington, “That’s How Country Boys Roll”

Ted Cruz:

*Pulled at request of the artist.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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