Please note that this post was written on the 7th November 2016, before the ballots opened for the US Presidential Election.
The day is almost upon us, the world has been preparing itself for this day. The US Presidential Election. By Wednesday morning we will know the name of the next US President, but who will it be? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
The election has been scrutinised by almost every media outlet on the planet, this election is a historical one. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most controversial and hated political figures in the United States. Trump has controversial opinions and Clinton is the face of a hated establishment. So what could happen during this election.
This election will be one of the hardest ones to predict, with the gap closing between the two candidates it will be hard to see who comes out on top, we’ll just have to wait until the official announcement. One of the reasons for this is that it is not clear that the public will vote by party. Not all Republicans will vote for Trump and not all Democrats will vote Hillary, this is shown with the presence of groups such as Republicans For Hillary and
Democrats For Trump. This is what happens when both of the candidates are extremely unpopular, many voters will not support the party that they usually vote for. Some may avoid the two mainstream parties and vote Green, Libertarian and Independent, which will decrease the vote share for the front runners, but it is unclear whether or not this will happen as the smaller parties are significantly behind Trump and Clinton with Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party polling at 5% and Jill Stein for the Green Party polling at 2%. So this seems unlikely. Trump is polling at 44% and Clinton is polling at 45%. It is just impossible to predict.
However, if we look at the events of the election so far we can probably take an educated guess about who is likely to vote who.
A big issue in this election has been Industry. The corporate outsourcing of jobs has been a deciding factor for a lot of working class American voters. I was introduced to this issue in the US when I watched a documentary series Anywhere But Westminster where Guardian journalist John Harris travelled to Indianapolis where a factory was being shut down and operations were being moved to Mexico. The workers were angry, and rightly so, but in the Primary stage of the election they flocked to two candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Both of the candidates had publicly spoken out against outsourcing, and when Harris asked workers who they supported, many said Trump because his message was anti-outsourcing, but when the workers went to a protest rally, campaigners from both Trump and Sanders appeared and showed support. This highlighted where the Democrats and the Republicans crossed tracks on some issues, and how some Republican Trump voters could vote for Democrats. However when Sanders was defeated by Clinton, it could be argued that these voters are now supporting Trump, because it may be one way to save their jobs after Sanders has been defeated. If Clinton hasn’t convinced the American worker demographic that she can battle corporate outsourcing then they may go Republican.
Another issue which has dominated this election is immigration. Donald Trump has attracted most of the attention on this topic to himself. This will gain him plenty of votes amongst demographics who have issues with Immigration. Clinton on the other hand can have benefits from this. Trump was the one who claimed that Mexicans were bringing drugs, crimes, and that they were rapists. This may alienate the Hispanic vote and increase the Democrats vote share, it seems as if immigration has a clean split, pro immigration for Democrats and anti immigration for Republican. But if only it were that simple.
Image has been a big issue throughout this election. Donald Trump has campaigned from an anti-establishment stance since the primaries, which appealed to disenfranchised Americans, the unemployed and isolated communities that have been left behind. Whereas Hillary Clinton is one of the biggest establishment figures in the US, having led an active political career. Issues such as the Iraq war, and foreign policy may come back and persuade American’s to vote Trump. However Trump’s anti-establishment view can be considered too much with comments regarding nationality and religion, which will put off voters. The image of these two candidates could force both the Democrats and the Republicans to lose votes and will either result in a larger share for Independent’s, Greens and Libertarians. Or even a lower voter turnout.
This election has been covered in scandal, with Hillary Clinton’s emails and Trump’s comments about women it is hard to see who’s campaign has been damaged the most. Hillary Clinton has been under investigation by the FBI twice for using a private email server while serving as Secretary of State, which has caused some to speculate whether or not she has breached Federal Regulations. The most recent investigation was announced 11 days before the election. This has led to distrust for Hillary Clinton amongst the public with Trump supporters claiming that she is corrupt and slogans such as Crooked Clinton and Hillary for Prison appearing in the campaign, iI suggests that this will hurt her campaign. However the FBI investigations have cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing, and it seems as if the only people with any distrust in Clinton are supporters of Donald Trump. One of Trump’s biggest scandals was the release of a tape which recorded him claiming that he could use his celebrity status to sexually assault women. And after this 12 women came forward and claimed that Trump had sexually assaulted them. This would be a factor that would take the female vote away from the Republican nominee and towards Clinton, who would be the first female President. However we have seen the rise of groups such short Women For Trump which shows that this has not has a whole impact on the female vote.
However there is one group that could swing the election, and I like to call them the silent demographic. These individuals are political introverts and they take nothing to do with politics for most of the time. They just go to work, earn a wage, pay the bills and lead a quiet life. These people do not attend rallies and don’t really speak about who they support. These individuals can be influenced by views and in the media and may be reluctant to say who they really support. This could lead the candidates into a false sense of security, and then there could be a surprise result.
The finance argument is where the campaigns split. Trump supports a corporate tax break whereas the Democrats have opposing plans to tax richer Americans. This could go in favour of Clinton as working American’s may not support further benefits for the top 1%. Trump has supported trade tariffs which with put off internationalist Americans, and bring about concerns that the rest of the world would not want to do business with an isolationist America.
Now let’s look at who could vote for who at a glance.
- Clinton could take the feminist vote as the prospect of a female President appeals to them. The America’s could be said for female voters.
- Trump has been endorsed by the KKK which could persuade African Americans to vote Clinton instead.
- The Hispanic vote could go to Clinton after Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants.
- After the outrage since Trump’s suggested Muslim Ban suggests that those who follow the religion of Islam will vote Clinton.
- Those who have concerns over financial security may vote for Clinton as she is seen as the certainty candidate.
- Those who support more regulation for corporations will vote for Clinton as she doesn’t support a corporate tax breaks.
- Those who care about the environment will vote Clinton as Trump once claimed that Climate change was a hoax set up by the Chinese.
- Military personnel and Military families may vote Clinton after Trump said that John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he got caught and criticised the family of a fallen soldier.
- Donald Trump’s anti-outsourcing stance will appeal to working class voters.
- Communities in the Rust Belt and Coal Country will vote Trump as he has shown that he wants to reverse a loss of industry and repair America’s communities.
- Trump’s stance on abortion could gain him the Christian vote, especially fundamental and Conservative Christians in the Bible belt States.
- Clinton has a history in politics, and that may come back to haunt her as her previous actions may turn voters against her and towards Donald Trump.
- Trump’s campaign has centered around an anti-establishment image which seems to appeal to most American voters whereas Hillary is the living embodiment of the American Political establishment.
- With the fall of Bernie Sanders during the Primaries, young people and millenials are disenfranchised as no candidate speaks for them.
- Environmentally conscious Americans may vote Green due to issues surrounding Clinton.
- Issues surrounding Trump may lead to an increase in Libertarian votes.
If you want to see the lighter side of this election, then I would highly recommend watching some Saturday Night Live, because it’s good to see the lighter side of things. And after this election, that is exactly what the world needs to focus on, whatever the result. The population of the US is highly divided and it looks to be that way for a while. This election has opened Pandora’s Box, releasing a vast array of anti-establishment attitudes and opinions, it looks as if they’re here to stay, and the next President is going to have to deal with this.
At the end of the day, this election is impossible to Predict, we can all but hope that the next President of he United States will do the right thing and fight to make the world a better place. But we’ll just have to wait and see.