WHO IS AHEAD IN THE ELECTION RACE by Samad Hussein

The United States presidential election 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th presidential election. Voters will cast ballots for their candidate of choice in an attempt to make that person the 45th president of the United States. This year, the two candidates, Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican), couldn’t be more opposite from each other.

Businessman and reality TV personality Donald Trump became the republican party’s presidential nominee on July 19, 2016. If elected, one of Trump’s main goals is to build a wall to stop the illegal immigration along our Southern border.

Former Secretary of State and U.S Senator from New York Hillary Clinton became the Democrat party’s presidential nominee on July 26, 2016.  If elected, Clinton will be the first female president of the U.S and one of her promises is to provide a pathway for those families all ready here illegally to become legitimate citizens rather than have them deported. 

Many voters have interpreted Mr. Trump's comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico and about Muslim refugees to the U.S as racist.  He has said that those coming from Mexico are some of the worst criminals, and has insisted that the country needs to scrutinize or better "vet" Muslims coming to the U.S to ensure the exclusion of terrorists. 

Hillary Clinton has been trying to take advantage of the negative publicity Trump has generated with his comments to add to the ranks of her supporters.  She has also been trying to contrast her policies from his shying away from generalizations and focusing on detailed plans for government policy regarding such issues as affordable health care, lowering middle class taxes, and equal pay etc. The recent accusations of sexual harassment against Trump have given Clinton more ammunition to use in her campaign against him.  

On the other hand many voters have expressed serious issues with Clinton's trustworthiness and lack of transparency.  This is in part due to the FBI's announcement just 11 days before the election, that it is renewing its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email during her time as Secretary of State.  The announcement came about because of new emails found on a laptop belonging to the Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton's longtime advisor, Huma Abadin.  This all has the public wondering if Hillary Clinton is guilty of anything criminal.

Nationally the competition is tied. According to polling data, as of 10/28/16, both Hillary andTrump are at 44%. Many feel that we do not have the right candidate from either party. Regardless of the percentage of the voting population that has aligned itself with one candidate or the other, it is the number of votes from the electoral college that decides who becomes president.  Citizens of the United States do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they choose "electors," who pledge to vote for the particular candidate that wins in each state. The number of electoral votes each state commands, depends on its population; 270 electoral votes are required to become president.

The economy and terrorism have come up as the top two issues for voters this fall. “Overall, 84% of registered voters say that the issue of the economy will be very important to them in making their decision about who to vote for in the 2016 presidential election; slightly fewer (80%) say the issue of terrorism will be very important to their vote. In 2008, far more said the economy would be very important to their vote (87%) than the issue of terrorism (68%).”

This year immigration has been added to the list of most important issues affecting the vote.

When it comes to which candidate would do the better job handling key issues, voters give the edge to Clinton over Trump in several areas, including making wise foreign policy decisions and dealing with immigration.  This is based on the fact that she has more experience with politics and working in government.  

It is important to keep in mind however, that just as many voters feel that Trump's lack of connection with the political establishment is a positive, and a key reason as to why they support him.  

By the time this post will be published, the election will be over and the United States will have a new president.  If you can, vote, and be a part of that important decision.