Democratic Party’s nominee for the White House, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Republican Party’s nominee for the White House, Donald Trump.
Clinton vs Trump: Who will win?
Tue, 11/08/2016 - 12:00am
BY late tonight or early Wednesday, November 9, the newly elected leader of the free world will be known and the global response could be significantly different depending on the outcome.
In what could easily be ‘classified’ as one of the most unpredictable election cycles in recent times, remains the classical battle between the conventional and unconventional candidates.
Former First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, Senator from New York, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the Democratic Party’s nominee for the White House after coming up short in 2008 after an epic battle with current President Barack Obama. Often caricatured by her opponents as calculating, methodical and cold, her poise and determination to succeed despite the vicious assaults on her and her family, Clinton stands on the precipice of history.
In 2008, in bowing out of the primary battle with Obama, she exclaimed that she and her supporters had put ‘18 million cracks in the glass ceiling’ and fast forward eight years later, she cracked that ceiling and secured the nomination which had barely eluded her grasp in 2008.
It was a tough battle which she had with Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who captured the left flank of the younger element of the Democratic Party, which believed that Government should play a greater role in regulating various aspects of daily life.
One of his mantras was free college with Government taxing the rich to pay for it. The underlying claim was that the most powerful country in the world should be able to finance the powering of the intellectual capacity of its upcoming generations to enable it to remain on par with other nations.
Regulating Wall Street was another theme which Sanders advanced, arguing that the country could not return to the lack of regulation which allowed the financial crash of 2007.
Clinton, long regarded as a Centrist, has understood the values of governing in the realities of a country which, while pulled to the fringes in elections, remained in the middle of the political spectrum. It worked for her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who despite numerous scandals, had a fairly successful presidency.
However, Clinton’s movement towards possible history as the first female president has been overshadowed by scandal. The e-mail issue, which has been overblown by the mainstream media in the United States, sought to suggest some invidious attempt by Clinton and her staff was at play during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Her use of a private server, in her home, was discovered during the Republican-led House of Representatives investigation into the Benghazi attacks of 2012. The suggestion was that classified materials passed through the server, which could have compromised national security. Clinton, repeatedly argued, that it was used for convenience, but apologised. The FBI on Sunday concluded that no charges would be filed on the matter.
In her autobiography “Living History”, Clinton wrote: “I wasn’t born a First Lady or a Senator. I wasn’t born a Democrat. I wasn’t born a lawyer or an advocate for women’s rights and human rights. I wasn’t born a wife or mother. I was born an American in the middle of the 20th century, a fortunate time and place. I was free to make the choices unavailable to past generations of women in my own country and inconceivable to many women in the world today. I came of age on the crest of tumultuous social change and took part in the political battles fought over the meaning of America and its role in the world.”
Standing in her way is brash billionaire Donald Trump. One of the most successful tycoons in American history, the New York-based businessman bested career politicians, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, en route to claiming the Republican nomination in record time… all with one refrain... “Make America Great Again”.
Trump, who has never been in elected politics emerged as the de facto leader to the Anti-Obama racist fringe of the Republican party which sought to question the legitimacy of President Obama with ludicrous suggestions that he was born in Kenya and not in Hawaii. Trump, who existed in reality television, with the ‘Apprentice’ franchise, started with personal attacks on the President and even threatened to investigate the circumstances of the President’s long form birth certificate. He tapped into an element which believes that their country has been taken away from them and that the representation of that was the President.
The animosity towards the President has become a staple of Trump’s campaign speeches, with the argument that everything has gone wrong, and that he alone has the sense and common sense to fix these issues.
One has been immigration. Trump argued that illegal immigration was out of control and that he would round up and deport millions of undocumented Mexicans and would build a wall to ‘keep America safe’. The comment similar to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney about ‘self-deportation’ enthused his base, but in a general election match-up will be problematic.
Trump, despite his tough talk, about being an outsider, has ultimately emerged as a typical Republican. He has proposed massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and for the repeal of Obamacare... something which Republicans have long hoped and fought for, despite the law being affirmed by a Republican dominated Supreme Court.
The election is critical for a number of reasons. Given census projections, Latinos, as the fastest growing demographic will outstrip whites, so this election will be the last where whites are a significant force, that is where Trump is strong. However, the challenge is that while he dominates with the poorly educated, Clinton dominates among the college-educated.
Therefore, the election will be decided by various swing states. Clinton has surged into the lead based on a successful ‘Get out the vote’ operation in Colorado and Nevada. Ohio remains competitive as usual. Trump has been competitive in the other ‘Rust Belt’ states, such as Michigan, Indiana and Missouri. Clinton has closed off Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia and has forced Trump to fight for North Carolina and Florida, even while Clinton challenges him in Georgia, Texas and even Arizona.
Trump has to win all of the swing states and keep all of the traditional Republican states, to stand a chance. Clinton, by nature of the demographics, holds an advantage in the electoral college, needing just to hold states Obama won in 2012 to win. The world will be watching.