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American Election Enters Home Stretch

Henry Srebrnik, [Charlottetown, PEI] Guardian

The 2016 American presidential election is still Hillary Clinton’s to lose, given the winner-take-all nature of the Electoral College.

California and New York between them have 84 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win. These two key states will clearly both be in Clinton’s column.

Of the 50 states, only Maine and Nebraska allocate votes between candidates.

But this election might still end up closer than people think, with a lot depending on turnout.

Two groups that voted in record numbers for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 -- African-Americans and younger people -- are far less enthusiastic about Clinton. In the Democratic primaries, people under 30 years of age, including women, preferred Bernie Sanders to her.

In both cases, particularly in the case of Black males, they see in Clinton a rather tired, old, rich, privileged (and white) woman. They won’t cast a ballot for Trump, of course, but they may stay home on election day.

That’s why President Obama told African-Americans he would consider it a “personal insult” if they did not vote for Clinton.

No other major party candidate in my memory has been called by his opponent a bigot, a racist, a nativist, and a xenophobe; none have been compared by the liberal press to David Duke, Benito Mussolini, Vladimir Putin, George Wallace, and various other assorted neo-Nazis, Klansmen and anti-Semites.

Yet Trump is still within hailing distance. Obviously his supporters don’t believe these charges, or don’t care, or even approve. Clinton has shot her bolt – there’s nothing left to charge Trump with, other than pedophilia or murder!

This means that between now and Nov. 8, there’s no place for him to go but up, whereas Clinton can only lose votes. Trump’s supporters, the “deplorables,” are clearly more enthusiastic about Trump than Clinton’s base is about her.

Trump may lose moderate mainstream Republicans who normally vote for a GOP candidate, but he will also be pulling many “Trump Democrats,” particularly white males without jobs or prospects, into his column.

They represent a huge bloc in three blue states he would need to turn red to have the best chance of winning: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of late, he’s ahead in the first two.

On the other hand, even if Clinton wins historic margins among well-educated whites and Latinos, they mainly live in states like California, Illinois, and New York, which she would win anyhow.

Hispanics will be more of a factor in Florida and Texas, two states with large Electoral College votes, but some analysts speculate that even if Trump underperforms with that demographic as compared to previous Republicans, he may make up this deficit with more white voters. Recent polls confirm this.

Finally, more partisan Republicans still leery of Trump may come around at the last minute, because they don’t want Clinton appointing the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, where there is currently a vacancy.

The Court now has four liberals and four conservatives, so the new judge will be a “tie-breaker” in controversial social issues.

Who in the past could have imagined that in 2016 it would be the Democrat around whom the rich would coalesce, rather than the Republican, whose support is mainly white petty bourgeois and working class people, along with the downwardly mobile?

Here’s the bottom line: The 2008 recession, for which no one was held accountable, has left a legacy of bitterness and anger. Are the plebeians telling the patricians they can’t get away with it?

This post first appeared on I Told You So, please read the originial post: here

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American Election Enters Home Stretch


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