Now the conventions are over…

Now the US main party conventions are over there is still another three months of campaigning, so a lot could happen to change the presidential race.

Donald Trump got a poll bounce after the republican convention but it’s too soon to tell whether Hillary Clinton gets a balancing or beneficial bounce from the just completed Democrat convention.

The latest FiveThirtyEight election forecasts:

  • Polls-only: Clinton 53.3%, Trump 46.7%
  • Polls-plus: Clinton 61.7%, Trump 38.3%

Note that the US president isn’t elected by popular vote, it is decided by electoral college votes decided state by state.

ABC Australia explains: What happens between now and November 8?

Now begins just over three more months of stump speeches, town hall meetings and non-stop campaigning.

To win the presidential election on November 8, the Republican Mr Trump or the Democrat Mrs Clinton needs to win at least 270 electoral college votes.

Each state and the District of Columbia award electoral votes. If a candidate wins the majority in a state they take all of the electoral votes.

Small states like Vermont and Delaware get three votes, larger states like New York and Florida get 29, Texas has 38 and the biggest prize, California, is worth 55 electoral votes.

The winner needs 270 votes to claim the White House. Here’s where each candidate stands based on current polling:

  • Hillary Clinton leads in states with 202 electoral votes
  • Trump got a bounce from his convention last week. His total is now 164

We don’t know yet whether Clinton will bounce back on the back of the Democrat convention.

Some states have more importance than others.

Florida is a major prize and it has been decisive in two of the last four elections. It is a growing population which may favour Clinton, but it is tight.

Mr Trump has his eyes on the old rust belt of the industrial mid-west, from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

That is why you will hear him talking a lot about bringing jobs back from overseas, beating China at trade, making things in America and “making America great again”.

Clinton is a conventional establishment candidate, except that she is also playing the ‘first woman candidate’ card hard. That may or may not help her.

Trump is still an unknown quantity apart from surprising many about how well he has done so far. He is an anti-establishment candidate which has won him a lot of support but also strengthen opposition.

The election will in part be decided by how the two candidates perform over the next three months.

Voters may start to take a more serious look at what a win by either candidate would mean for them personally and for the US – a lot of Americans tend to not think much or care much about the rest of the world. But world events may play a part, especially terrorism and potential threats posed by other major powers.

So far the contest has been very unpredictable, thanks to Trump. Expect him to continue to try and cause upheaval.

But the result may come down to nuts and bolts campaigning. Clinton has a much better organised campaign across the country. Trump’s relatively disorganised and unconventional campaign has to try and catch up in that respect, or they may simply fail to get enough potential supporters to vote, especially in key states.

About the only certainty is that the attention seeking and attention getting will continue.

Democracy in the US may not look pretty – and often looks quite ugly – but that’s something the media thrives on.

Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th July 2016

    I skimmed through Clinton’s speech and the impression I got was that it was all about Trump. That will appeal to her supporters but probably not to anyone else. I don’t see the upside for her, stuck with a more of the same policy promise when most Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction.

    • Gezza

       /  30th July 2016

      They recently just showed the Trump acceptance & Clinton acceptance speeches contrasted with each other. I’ve been noticing of late just how much the rhetoric, style of delivery, gestures, & even facial expressions Trump uses, reminds me very strongly of Mussolini. Anyone interested should google or search YouTube for some footage, and then watch Trump’s recent speeches. I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

      I just feel sorry for the Yanks. What a pair to have to choose between.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  30th July 2016

      I skimmed through Clinton’s speech too… and Barry’s and Billy’s. And the impression I got is they can all read an autocue. They are nothing but moving ju ju lips

  2. Nelly Smickers

     /  30th July 2016

    So, if HILLZ becomes *Madam President*….what do they call BILL ❓

    Katie H tweeted me a pole XD

    • Gezza

       /  30th July 2016

      Katie H tweeted me a pole
      Think I have a fairly good idea where she probably extracted it from Nelly. :/


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