Based on its analysis of media endorsements, electoral trends and opinion surveys, Dawn understands that Democrat Hillary Clinton is more likely than her Republican rival Donald Trump to win the presidential election on Tuesday.
Since 57 of America’s 100 newspapers – including The New York Times and The Washington Post — have endorsed Mrs. Clinton and only two have endorsed Mr. Trump, it should have been an easy prediction, but it is not.
The national average of all polls collected on Sunday gives Clinton less than two-point lead, her 46.6 points against Mr. Trump’s 44.8. In favourability rating, she leads Mr. Trump by 5.4 percent. But this is not comforting as both are still in the negative zone, her minus 13.8 against Mr. Trump’s minus 19.2.
Gamblers, however, seem to have greater trust in Clinton than voters. In live betting odds, she has 78.4 points while Mr. Trump has 20.6.
Among newspapers, even Libertarian Gary Johnson has more support than Mr. Trump. Three major newspapers — Chicago Tribune, Detroit News and Richmond Times-Dispatch — endorsed Mr. Johnson while only two, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union endorsed Mr. Trump.
Three newspapers Las Vegas USA Today, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel announced that they were “not for Trump.” And 12 of the 100 major newspapers gave no endorsement.
The Washington Post’s editorial board declared that it was endorsing Clinton because the newspaper believed she was fit to lead the nation.
“In the gloom and ugliness of this political season, one encouraging truth is often overlooked: There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation,” the Post wrote.
The New York Times went a step ahead and urged all undecided voters to back Hillary Clinton. “We’re aiming ... to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton,” to give up the hesitation and support her.
“The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump,” NYT wrote while reminding its readers that the candidate they favour her because has the ability to lead the American nation in these difficult times.
The Wall Street Journal refused to endorse any candidate because, it argued: “The choice comes down to the very high, if relatively predictable costs, of four more years of brute progressive government under Hillary Clinton versus a gamble on the political unknown of Donald Trump.”
Carl M. Cannon, of Real Clear Politics news site, sympathises with the American public, saying that this was “a campaign we did not deserve”.
He wrote: “The 2016 contest is the ugliest presidential campaign in modern US political history, and we can’t blame those hated special interest groups. This year, the rotten tone comes directly from the two nominees, Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Mr. Cannon noted that Donald Trump had called his rival “such a nasty woman” during an election debate and oddly, “she’s determined to prove him right. But, remember, Mr. Trump’s own nastiness was never in question. What a pair. What a year.”
Pundits across the political divide (Republican versus Democrats) agree that this nastiness has put off many Americans, particularly those who believe that as the world’s leading power America deserves a better leadership.
They argue that since both candidates are so unpopular, their popularity rate keeps moving back and forth.
The latest Washington Post-ABC Tracking Poll released on Sunday gave Clinton a five-point lead over Mr. Trump. But another Post-ABC poll released on Friday gave Clinton a three point lead while the national poll average reduced it to just 1.8.
This is how it has been since early October, when the campaign entered its final month. When the media reported Mr. Trump’s offensive attitude towards women, his popularity went down, giving Clinton 12 to 20 points lead in several major polls.
But it fell to two points when media shifted its focus to Clinton’s use of private server for sending official emails as secretary of state.
Opinion surveys show that on both sides, the support is more negative than positive. But in the latest Post-ABC poll, Clinton has an advantage in affirmative support; with 55 percent saying they “mainly support her”, compared with 43 percent of Trump voters. More Trump voters say they “mainly oppose Clinton”.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2016