The most troubling issue to emerge from the third and last US Presidential debate, which has just taken place in Las Vegas, California, between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican rival, Donald Trump, is Trumps refusal to categorically say if he will accept the election results if he loses. Pressed by Fox News moderator, Wallace, he said; “I will keep you in suspense.”
This response drew gasps from the audience in the debate room and television watchers across the country. Lately, Trump has been saying that the election was being rigged by the media and the Washington Establishment in Clinton’s favour. She termed this a “troubling position”.
After the debate many on the opposing parties commented on Trump’s uncertainty. His associates and supporters said that he was merely joking. But political activist and former Democratic presidential contender, Rev. Jesse Jackson, said Trump was positioning himself for a break-away Third Party.
Both contenders presented strong positions on issues and poll watchers mostly agreed that the result from the debate had not changed voters’ positions much, but merely solidified their voting patterns. None demonstrates this more clearly than the position of Cosmopolitan.com, whose poll average on all issues mirrors the national position that Clinton is ahead of Trump by 65% to 23%. This translates to a 50% to a 38% win for Clinton.
The polling measurements take into account: the national popularity; that of individual states; and then, the Electoral College vote. The forecast methods are: electoral commission; statistical surveys; political reports; expert opinions; and, betting.
The results indicate that Clinton is ahead of Trump in all but three of the 51 states; Puerto Rico, inclusive. The New York Times (NYT) poll says that Clinton has a 90% chance of winning the US presidency as against Trump’s ten percent. The 538 Poll that has collected forecasts from 921 polling organizations showing that Clinton’s chances of winning are 92.7% as against 7.2% for Trump, with the other remaining 0.1% being shared by the independent candidates: Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin.
The Quinnipiac University Poll indicated a 86.6% Clinton demolition of Trump as against is 13.4%. And Predict Wise bettors give Clinton a 693 chance as against Trump, with 315. This translates to a national percentage of Clinton winning at 50% to Trumps 38%.
The newer polling corporations and concerns have overshadowed the traditional former powerhouses such as; Gallup, Zogby, TimesWarner, ABC News/Washington Post, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, CBS, CNN or Pew Research.
And in colleges, especially in some of the swing states around the country, pollsters have mushroomed to give a boost to the exercise. Most of these polls give Clinton a win of between two and 12% points over Trump. So far only three swing states; Ohio, Iowa and Utah, give Trump the win over Clinton.
The Florida swing state, a traditional Republican hangout, has its Opinion Savvy Poll giving her a 3% win; and the Siena College Poll gives her a percentage point advantage. The Marquette University Law School Poll of the Wisconsin swing state gives Clinton a 7% win, as in Pennsylvania, the Muhlenberg College Poll has Clinton ahead with 8%.
Why Swing States?
These are so-called because the chances of the vote going either way are as decided as to how the candidate addresses the issues pertinent to the election. Or, those subject matters that have risen during the campaigns to make the electorate change their minds. This refers to the 24 states which have no laws stipulating that a particular party carries that state. The poll forecasts are made with a view to find the extent of the popular vote the candidate is likely to get.
But it is not advisable to rely solely on the popular vote. In the 2000 polls, Democrat Al Gore polled 51% of the popular vote, when Republican George W. Bush got 49%. Gore lost the election on the basis of the Electoral College Vote.
The Electoral College is composed of 538 electors, who are the local leaders: these are the 435 House of Representatives, a hundred Senators and three electors, who represent the District of Columbia, so-called as Washington, the Capital City of the US.
These electors are party leaders, state officials and those affiliated to the particular candidates. Thus the count of the popular vote per state is tagged to the number of the electors in that state. When the accumulated number of electors reaches the majority of 270, the candidate is declared the winner.
By the present count of the likely electors, Clinton has a majority of 340 delegate votes as against Trump’s 197. The other electoral delegate is a toss-up between Johnson and McMullin.
Twenty seven states have a requirement that their party’s winner takes all the delegates, while 24 have no stipulation to party restriction.
In the final debate Trump focused his attacks on “Crooked Hillary” saying that her record as a candidate for the Establishment; as Secretary of State, Senator for New York and then-First Lady gives her influence to “rigging” the elections. He has accused even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of being involved in this.
Trump’s campaign has been hit by the revelations that came in an audio recording between him and Billy Bush, the anchor of the TV show, Access Hollywood, that showed Trump making obscene statements about women, generally; and him going to “grope” a married woman he was due to interact with on his reality show. The 2005 recording has attracted the defense by his wife, Melania, that, it does not represent the “man I know”. Even Trump’ daughter, Ivanka, has termed her father’s utterances in that audio, “inappropriate”.
But it has had a marked influence on lowering Trump’s rating in the forecast of the polls that has persisted from Trump’s performance in the second debate, widely seen as having been won by Hillary Clinton.
Culled from News Agencies