By Guest Writer Ollie Dewis
Why would I – an early 40-something young lady be SO hooked on the 2016 presidential election? US cable news is on 24/7 and I’m obsessively glued to social media updates.
The twists and turns in this year’s contest would have US drama series mogul Aaron Spelling spinning in his grave. Dynasty? Downtown Abbey? Pah! Just give me ‘Clinton V Trump’ (the complete boxset) any day of the week, no, any minute of the day.
In a nutshell what happens in America matters greatly to me and to the world at large. We are, after all, related nations, culturally intertwined, with a shared history that binds us.
Early on in the Republican nomination process, I knew Trump would win. He stood out from the pack. He articulated himself using plain ‘everyman’ language from day one, always factoring in the lowliest educated so that his plans wouldn’t be lost to the masses by confusing political-speak. If you ever listen to his rallies on live stream, you’ll see he has never stopped using this technique.
He didn’t have the $150 million advertising budget of Jeb Bush, he didn’t have the looks and relative youth (or smart ‘Cuban heels’) of Marco Rubio, nor the reasoned style of John Kasich (who I thought would have been a really good Republican candidate).
No – Trump stood out alright – the nomination was his. He rallied blue collar man and middle class America – an audience who have felt left behind and short changed for many years.
As for the Democratic nomination? I fall into the category of those who cry “Bernie woz robbed!”
The superdelegate numbers were tied up for Hillary before the Democratic nomination campaign had even started. This created a top down intimidating effect which led delegates to feel ‘what the heck’ -we’re in for Hillary. What happened in the Washington caucuses was awful. Sanders won the majority of delegates but not a single superdelegate endorsed him. For me this was a disgrace for a party that calls itself The Democratic Party. That on top of the appalling tactics by the Clinton campaign as revealed by WikiLeaks and other sources, the Democratic Chair, Donna Brazile allegedly leaked CNN debate questions to the CNN camp (CNN have since cut ties with her).
Bernie didn’t have a prayer against this cynical maneuvering. An investigation recently revealed that ‘Remote’ DNC activists were also paid $1500 a pop to disrupt Trump rallies. This has allowed Trump in recent days to claim the moral high ground. Jeez! Bad move Team Clinton.
In my humble opinion, if Sanders had won the Democratic nomination, the campaign would have been infinitely different.
Without the ‘Crooked Hillary’ comedy we may have had more substantive policy discussion. Sanders was generally well liked and the demographic he touched has a huge crossover with Trump’s audience. In fact the emergence of the ‘Democrats for Trump’ and other #neverhillary movements is a consequence of the way the nomination process was conducted by the Clinton camp.
The media, corporates, and so called ‘establishment’ may rue the day they powerfully stumped against Trump, thus recreating something similar to the ‘David v Goliath’ Brexit production we endured this summer.
Trump was already leaping forward in the polls before Friday’s FBI’s statement about Clinton’s email case. Republicans were beginning to regroup and support Trump more openly. That and the Obamacare premium fiasco, have heaped poll numbers back in Trump’s favour.
Here’s a few reasons why Trump will win,and why failing campaign strategies engaged during Brexit and in the US election really need to be reviewed
Wealthy Celebrity and Hollywood endorsements don’t matter a fig to voters on zero hour contracts, struggling to pay the rent.
Skewing samples and not including previous non-voters has given a misleading impression in the US election and has not factored in many millions who will vote for the first time in years.
Media bias has not allowed fair and cordial airtime for all campaign teams during on air coverage. The US media has not shown great balance. Many of us knew that the pendulum would swing and a big Clinton story would force the media’s hand to redress the imbalance. On cue came the FBI story ….but the media should never have needed this kick to make it happen!
Attack ad budgets should be used sparingly. The US media industry will no doubt be furious with a Trump win. He has shown them and the whole world that you don’t really need a $1.5 billion dollar ad spend to win the race. Trump’s brash sound bites and velvet glove truculence or should I say ‘Trumpulence’ has given him guaranteed airtime.
Never attack the voter only the candidate! Clinton’s ‘deplorable’ and ‘irredeemable’ gaffe toward Trump supporters was for me the critical downward turning point for her campaign. Remember when Brexit voters were told they were racist and xenophobic? It backfired. Respect the voter!
Even factoring in fake followers, Trump’s Social media following is leagues ahead of Clinton’s….not to mention all the periphery support groups …’Black Women for Trump’, ‘Students for Trump’, ‘Veterans for Trump’….basically it’s a scenario which feels like the ‘Trump’s People’s Army’ versus the evil ‘Clinton and the Establishment’. This rallies a ‘George slaying the dragon’ type enthusiasm. His campaign head, Kellyanne Conway has a large following …irrelevant you say? I’d argue not.
I think Trump will win. I’ve been predicting it much to my friends’ annoyance for months. Many will weep and that’s to be understood but who knows it may be the best thing that’s happened to America in years. Even the best seasoned analyst doesn’t know how it will pan out despite the regular ‘Reckless Trump at the nuclear button’ quips.
If the American people choose Donald J Trump, then they were prepared to take that gamble and should be respected.
Ollie Dewis is a freelance publicist based in London.