In the final hours before the the majority of the electorate goes to the polls to elect the 45th President of the United States, I thought a final analysis would be in order.
First, the campaign itself. One of the most hotly contested races ever, the two candidates have very different views and the views of their supporters reflect this.
Here are some of the major differences between the Clinton and Trump supporters interviewed and reported on by PEW:
Over 80% of Trump supporters believed that America is worse today than it was 50 years ago. Only 19% of Clinton supporters agreed.
Most of the Clinton supporters interviewed,(72%) believed that it is harder for women to get ahead than men, while only 31% of Trump supporters agreed.
Close to 80% of Clinton supporters believed that white people have advantages that Black people do not and 57% said it’s much more difficult to be black than white in the United States. Only about a quarter of Trump supporters agreed with white advantage and just 11% believed that it’s more difficult to be black.
This trend is also evident in the amount of Clinton supporters who felt that undocumented immigrants are no more apt to commit serious crimes than citizens (84% vs 43%). Of course Trump supporters were far more likely to favour a wall between the US and Mexico (79% vs 10%).
A majority of Trump supporters (57%) felt that Muslims living in the US should be subject to additional scrutiny, while just 15% of Clinton supporters agreed. 66% of Trump supporters thought that terrorists have greater ability to launch a terror attack against the US now than in 2001, while only 24% of Clinton supporters agreed.
The vast majority of Clinton supporters (72%) believed that government should do more to help the needy even if it meant that the US would assume greater debt, while only 21% of Trump supporters agreed.
83% of Trump supporters felt that government is wasteful and inefficient, while only 31% of Clinton supporters agreed.
Other polls show that support for Clinton is much greater among those with a college degree, while Trump is favoured by those with a High School diploma or less. Rural citizens and gun owners tend to prefer Trump, while urbanites favour Clinton.
Most Americans do not trust either candidate or share their values. But tomorrow, they will have to choose.
Tomorrow, the American people will let their voices be heard. No matter who wins, there will be many very unhappy people. The fact that Bernie Sanders was able to seriously challenge Hillary Clinton and that his supporters were so enthusiastic, means that the Democratic party is split between those who like the status quo and those who wish the party were more “progressive” or as some say, more socialist and to the left. If Hillary is elected, she will have to adopt some of these views.
The Republican party is a mess. Many within the party do not support Trump and some are even voting for Hillary. However, the fact that such a large swath of the party support Trump indicates that there is serious dissatisfaction with mainstream Republicans and that party members are looking for an outsider whom they believe will bring about change.
If Hillary wins, I fear the reaction of Trump voters. Trump has indicated he would not accept the final tally, but contest it. Such an action would be disruptive, but America has gone through something somewhat similar in the Bush Gore election of 2000. In that election, Florida ballots were recounted, and the outcome of the election unknown for more than a month afterwards. It also required the intervention of the Supreme Court to rule on the balloting procedures. However, while people were not happy during this period, there was no civil disobedience. Life went on as usual. I’m not sure things will be equally as calm should Hillary win.
Should Trump win, Hillary supporters will be very upset, but I don’t believe the unrest will be as great.
However, no matter who wins, America is now deeply divided and there is a large core of very angry people. My hope is that the election will go smoothly and that supporters of the losing candidate will graciously accept the results. During these last few years, American prestige around the world has plummeted. I only hope that the aftermath of this election will not be another step in its decline.
Let’s join together as Americans and strive for unity, or as a minimum, mutual respect.