With more Republicans ditching their own presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for the Democratic Party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, the choice between the two is clear, writes Adeola Akinremi
The Hillary Clinton Campaign is making an impressive gain in an unpredictable election season, where two unlikable and deeply flawed candidates are courting American voters. On the face of it, it appears the race belongs to Clinton with the statistics churned out so far on who’s leading where.
Clinton has opened a commanding lead in swing states, including North Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania among others. And the defeatist mindset of the Republican candidate, a belligerent Donald Trump, is casting shadow on his own effort. Trump has repeatedly claimed in recent speeches that the election will be rigged.
“The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania is if cheating goes on and we have to call up law enforcement and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everyone watching because if we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out of a win in Pennsylvania, which is such a vital state especially when I know what is happening here,” he said, adding: “She can’t beat what’s happening here. The only way they can beat it in my opinion, and I mean this 100 per cent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat.”
Trump is behind Clinton in Pennsylvania (one of key states) with polls showing Clinton in the lead with 9 points. Clinton’s lead in the polls may not be unconnected to the way she defined Trump early, calling him a “loose cannon” and “dangerous presidential hopeful.”
That was accentuated by the Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement for Clinton and his classification of Trump as a “dangerous demagogue” that American voters should be wary of.
Bloomberg, a former Mayor of New York, who was once a Republican and later an independent said: “To me, this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It’s a choice about who is better to lead our country right now, better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future. There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November.”
Its people like Bloomberg with Independent cloak and several others in the Republican Party now rooting for Mrs. Clinton that is making the mandate an easy one for Clinton.
By and large, there has not been a significant shift in Secretary Clinton’s promise to American voters and she has been consistent with issues that the Democratic Party takes seriously, but her aggressive courting of the Republican leaders and party faithful is worrisome for some liberal Democrats, though they agreed that it is a good strategy in an unpredictable election season.
Clinton has vigorously pursued Republican votes and has toasted them with the names they are familiar with like Mitt Romney and John McCain.
In a no Trump Op-ed, published on Monday August 8, by Los Angeles Times, David Shulman, a diehard Republican wrote: “Donald Trump had flamed out of the primaries as almost everyone expected, I would have proudly voted for Marco Rubio, John Kasich or Jeb Bush, and would have supported Scott Walker or Chris Christie.
But compared with these candidates, Donald Trump lives on another planet. Simply put, he is neither a Republican nor a conservative as we have understood those terms for decades. Instead, I will vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Despite her serious flaws, Clinton believes in America and its values. Trump — who would establish religious tests for immigration and ethnic tests for judges — does not. She is open to the world; Trump is not.
Trump believes in only himself. As Khizr Kahn, the Muslim father of a slain U.S. Army captain noted at the Democratic Convention: Trump has “sacrificed nothing.”
From different groups such as Republicans for Hillary to Republican Women for Hillary, self-inflicted injuries of the Republican nominee is making party members to jump the ship daily.
Last Monday, no fewer than 50 Republican national security officials declared in an open letter that they would not vote for Trump.
“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief,” they wrote. “Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
And days after, the Clinton campaign celebrated endorsements from a long list of 50 more high-profile Republicans. They are people who are important to the Republican Party. They served with Ronald Reagan and George Bush administrations. Some of them spokespersons, others donors, party enthusiast and elected officials.
On August 9, a Republican Senator from Maine, Susan Collins said: “I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologise. But it was his attacks directed at people, who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president.”
Clinton has doggedly pursued Republican votes since she opened her campaign, especially since Trump is not staying on message. Now, political pundits are saying the current trend may persist with Clinton strongly in the lead and voters continued to be with her across the aisle.
According to The politico, those who have studied presidential campaigns since 1952 — the advent of modern polling and TV — aren’t writing off Trump yet. But they say that time is running short for Trump to reverse the trajectory of the race before voters’ preferences become locked in.
“There are only a handful of opportunities left for Trump to impact the race, including the three general-election debates, in which Trump has indicated he intends to participate, though he wants to negotiate some of the details. But some pollsters caution that there is a significant risk that, even by the first debate in late September, the race will be locked in against Trump, who would be on an inexorable path to defeat regardless of how he performs,” the online political news said.
One analyst, Professor Christopher Wleszian of the University of Texas who co-authored the book, the Timeline of Presidential Elections: How Campaigns Do (and Do Not) Matter told the news medium that Trump has slim chance of making it during the presidential election in November.
He said: “When you come out of the conventions, the leader in the last 16 elections has not lost the popular vote.” The polls have changed in states where Trump won overwhelming votes during primaries. They are now in favour of Mrs. Clinton.
Undoubtedly, the time period around and immediately after conventions is always critical in America’s election because it is the time voters make up their minds regardless of how the campaign progresses.
There’s another complication for Trump according to the Politico that candidates trailing historically didn’t face the proliferation of early and no-excuse absentee voting over the past decade or so. It says in accordance with the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states allow voters to cast their ballots before Election Day if they wish. And, in some states, the no-excuse absentee ballots are mailed to voters as early as next month.
So much for Trump really, but whose mandate will Clinton use as she takes over the oval office as the first American woman president when that happens?
“If she’s going to get anything done as president, she is going to have to have a mandate,” said Robert B. Reich, a secretary of labour in Bill Clinton’s administration, who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary.
The Clinton campaign understands that sentiment too and last Friday, the campaign released collection of supportive quotes from left-leaning leaders and political groups that includes words taken from twitter to prove that Clinton will not waver on promises.
“She is not just running as the alternative to the other guy. She is running on a progressive policy agenda that she seriously believes will make a difference in people’s lives,” Brian Fallon, a campaign spokesman, said in an email. “If she wins, it will not just mean a rejection of Donald Trump. It will be a call to action on the issues she has championed.”
There may indeed be compromise necessary to palliate those working for Clinton within the Republican Party, if she wins the election and becomes the first woman president America will ever know, but it will be up to her to call the shot in the interest of Americans and the progressive leaning known with the Democratic Party.
But as she said during her speech in Philadelphia, when she accepted her nomination as the candidate of her party for the White House, “America is once again at a moment of reckoning.”