US Election 2016: The History, Stats, Policies and Debates

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The race to replace President Barrack Obama in the White House has reached its last month, with Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump representing the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination on the 21st of July while Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party nomination a week later on the 28th of July.

There are about 200 million Americans eligible to vote in the elections, but only about 66% of them have actually registered this year. The candidates require about 270 Electoral College votes from all the 50 states of America and the District of Columbia. This is awarded according to the number of Congress the States have. For instance, in 2008 Barack Obama had 68% of the votes from Electoral College, and this was due to the fact that he was backed by most of the populous states in the country.

States like Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia have the power to swing the election. So far, neither Republican Donald Trump nor Democrat Hilary Clinton has a substantial stake in these important states. The major issues for the voters include Economy, Immigration, Terrorism, Foreign policy, Health care and Gun policy.

For the 2016 polls so far, 46% of the White voters lean towards Donald Trump while 35% to Hilary Clinton. Also, for the Black voters 83% lean towards Hilary Clinton while just 3% support Donald Trump. For the Hispanic voters, 58% are leaning towards Hilary Clinton while 20% prefer Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton in the US Election 2016
Donald Trump shaking the hands of of Hilary Clinton during the town hall debate in Washington

The presidential campaign this year has seen Donald Trump reduce the distance between himself and his Democrat rival Hilary Clinton. According to the polls, the first time he moved ahead of Hillary Clinton was on the 19th May 2016.

Clinton had suffered a drop in the polls after facing some challenges over her health issue after she fainted in public because of pneumonia. However she has still retained a healthy lead over Donald Trump for most of the campaign, with the Republican nominee prone to making gaffes and alienating important demographic groups in America with his comments.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head for the first time in a debate on September 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The debate was moderated by Lester Holt of NBC News. The debate got unusually personal with Clinton going after Trump for his undisclosed tax returns, and Trump going after Hillary Clinton for the 33,000 emails erased from her home server.

Hilary Clinton secured a boost from this debate to lead Donald Trump by three points and dominated a final series of debate exchanges with Trump about national security and gender, telling voters they could not trust her opponent with nuclear weapons, and warning that he does not respect women. She sought to reassure American allies that the country would honour its international commitments, seeing as some of Mr. Trump’s comments during the campaign had startled them.

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