Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Down to the Wire

One week to go until the US Presidential elections.

I won't be sorry to see the end of an election campaign which, amazingly, has been even less edifying that our EU membership referendum campaign was - and that's really saying something.

I think we have learned over the past two years, on this side of the pond at least, not to put too much faith in opinion polls, but when they say it is close - as the polls in the US currently do - it usually is.

It seems reasonably to expect that this is going to be a close election. I suspect it will come down to Hillary Clinton's superior organisation on the ground against the greater motivation of Trump supporters - those who like him and those who detest her - and the issue of whether he has the ability to motivate people who don't usually vote to do so.

For those who care about America it will be a nail-biting week and I think this one is going down to the proverbial wire.

And then we will wake either to the depressing news that Hillary Rodham Clinton is President-elect or to the deeply depressing news that Donald J Trump is President-elect.

Most of the parallels between Donald Trump and the Brexit vote are greatly overdone, but one does stand out: everything about this election has shown that there are deep divisions in American society and a huge gulf between the elites in society, including the establishments of the major political parties, and a large part of the rest of society, including millions of their supporters and millions who have been completely estranged from the political process and do not usually vote.

Healing that divide is the biggest challenge of 2016 on both sides of the Atlantic.

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