FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiSunday, December 4, 2016
ubochit@hotmail.de
Bonn, Germany

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FACTORS WHICH DETERMINED THE 2016 UNITED STATES' PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION'S (4)

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Continued from Part 3

When you do the unexpected, you get unexpected results (Clifford Cohen)

In America, anyone can become president. That's the problem (George Carlin)

The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything (Joseph Stalin)

In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy (Matt Taibbi)

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election (Bill Vaughan)

The other presidential candidates as Factors:

he recount has started in Wisconsin, this Friday, December 2, with the prospect of its extension in Michigan and Pennsylvania, although Trump is trying hard to block it in Michigan. But one thing that is very glaring is that America is as divided as ever, and people are asking if the country can ever come together under Trump? The campaign was bitter, and the result of the election was largely unexpected to millions of people all over the world, and many Americans are still to accept the simple fact that they will live with Trump, as the president, at least for the next four years.

Things are getting worse, just only three weeks after the election, making one to imagine what will happen in the next months and years ahead, a point, an ABC News correspondent reiterated, when he wrote that Donald Trump's upset win after an acrimonious presidential campaign has thrown the fault lines of a bitterly divided nation into even sharper relief. A tide of animosity has fueled a spike in hate crimes, key states will see their election results subjected to a recount, and the incoming president has taken to twitter to denounce the views of his opponents rather than unify the country and the still-smarting Democrats behind his leadership. Against this backdrop I turned to historians and political scientists to ask how America is ever going to unwind the present atmosphere of dug-in political division. Do they see the country getting less divided at some point, and if so, how? Is there any way to re-knit our divided America? Sadly, the scholars agreed that the era of bitter partisanship, in which we find ourselves is unlikely to abate anytime soon.

The point I want to make is that this is a very interesting or strange time in America, and one can safely say that it's a paradoxical one, in the least most simple way. How did Trump win the election, when millions were deluded to believe that he had no chance? The points below explain the riddle here better:

• The winner continues to lead in the number of electoral votes; the loser continues to win more and more popular votes.

• The issues about the election should have been over by now, and it's supposed to be a walkover for Trump, when the members of the Electoral College meet, on December 19, to elect him the 45th president, based on the number of electoral votes he has garnered, but instead, many of the electors have vowed to vote against him, while some alleged harassment and threats to their lives, if they dare vote for Trump. For instance, according to Fox News insider, on November 28, "Some of Hillary Clinton's supporters are refusing to accept the election results, even sending death threats to Electoral College members", and, according to IBTimes, a teenager from Washington State has become the seventh "faithless elector" to attempt to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the president of the United States. Levi Guerra, 19, from Vancouver will join the ranks of the so-called "Hamilton electors." Guerra is one of the 12 electors in Washington State who have been mandated to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, on Dec. 19, as part of the Electoral College. The group believes that it is the responsibility of the 538 electors who make up the nation's Electoral College to stop an unfit person from becoming president. In his words, to The Guardian, on Wednesday, November 30: "I stand behind Hamilton electors. I promised those who elected me that I would do everything I could to keep Donald Trump out of office".

• Also, the America economy is doing pretty well, that even The Street (Magazine) noted that it's chugging along and might even be doing better than numbers suggest, but still, there's despair in the land, as the "economic good time" didn't carry many Americans along. Infact, President Obama is supposed to be leaving something his successor should be happy about, but millions of Americans don't feel the same way too. Just look at the figures just released, and tell me why things are not panning out for most Americans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics just revealed that the US unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.6% in November. This is the lowest level since August 2007. This figure has no useful meaning to so many Americans, and the reason is, according to a Yahoo News correspondent, that the "country has divided into areas of concentrated affluence and concentrated disadvantage, and the areas of concentrated disadvantage are just housing more people. I don't think it's a privileged 1 percent, it's a privileged third. About a third of our workforce and our population is doing OK. And two-thirds are falling further and further behind. And that's the issue".

Getting to the point: One of the factors that made Trump to win, and Hillary Clinton to lose, was the other presidential candidates - notably, the Libertarian candidate, a former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, and the Green candidate, a physician, Jill Stein! Do you know that a total of 29 third party and independent presidential candidates appeared on the ballot in at least one state? The impact of their candidacy might not have been felt, but, no matter how poorly they performed, they took some votes away, mostly from Hillary Clinton, and those votes could have given her victory in those few states some of the third and independent presidential candidates appeared on the ballot, and the states Trump won at last.

The point here is that Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee, who has instigated the recount efforts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and probably, Michigan, helped Trump, even in a small way, to be elected. Jill Stein is not a fan of Hillary Clinton, and her request for recounts in those three key swing states, where Trump won, are in no way intended to benefit Clinton, whom she strongly criticized during the 2016 campaign. The Green Party, in noting that its efforts here are not geared towards reversing the overall result of the election, explain, according to Yahoo News, that the party has been approached by computer scientists, election lawyers and other experts advocating vote recounts because of what they see as persuasive evidence of election result tampering. The Greens went further to add that so far no verifiable proof of tampering or hacking has been revealed, but that the recounts are a check on the process of counting votes.

Without the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, and the Green candidate, Jill Stein, most of those who voted for them, would have voted for the democratic Party of Hillary Clinton, as they are mostly renegade democrats or Bernie Sanders' supporters who didn't like how he was "robbed" of the Democratic Party's nomination.

Just as I noted above, it's ironic that Clinton lost the election, but her popular vote numbers keep rising, as she has now 2.3 million votes more than Trump, a point Good Morning America, on Wednesday, November 30, reiterated, when its correspondent noted that the ballots are still being counted -- and Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead over President-elect Donald Trump continues to grow. According to figures released by The Associated Press on Wednesday, November 30, Clinton received 64,874,143 votes, while Trump received 62,516,883 votes -- a difference of 2,357,260. Converted into percentages, Clinton has won 48.1 percent of the vote so far, while Trump's share of the vote so far is 46.4 percent. Trump's lead in the Electoral College, however, stands at 306, compared to Clinton's 232. As for Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, The Associated Press reported, on Wednesday November 30, that he has received 4,442,771 votes so far, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 1,420,351 votes. Converted into percentages, Johnson has received 3.3 percent of the vote so far, while Stein's share is 1.1 percent (votes that could mostly have gone to Hillary Clinton).

Brady Effect or other Factors:

But, let's ask why so many people voted for Hillary Clinton, and she still failed. How can more than 2 million Americans be wrong? On the other hand, let's look at why Trump won, and still, many feel they can't live having Trump as the president of the United States. But who voted for him then?

What happened here could have been a ""Bradley Effect", which, according to American Thinker, originated when an African-American, Tom Bradley, lost the California gubernatorial race to George Deukmejian in 1982. Polls had shown a small, though somewhat consistent, lead for Bradley up until Election Day. Nevertheless, Bradley lost a close election".

It could have been "the spiral of silence theory", and Wikipedia tells us that it's a political science and mass communication theory proposed by the German political scientist, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, which stipulates that individuals have a fear of isolation, which results from the idea that a social group or the society in general might isolate, neglect, or exclude members due to the members' opinions. This fear of isolation consequently leads to remaining silent instead of voicing opinions. Media is an important factor that relates to both the dominant idea and people's perception of the dominant idea. The assessment of one's social environment may not always correlate with reality.

Was it a "Shy Tory Factor", a name given by British opinion polling companies to a phenomenon first observed by psephologists in the early 1990s? They observed that the share of the electoral vote won by the Conservative Party (known as the 'Tories') was significantly higher than the equivalent share in opinion polls. It was most notable in the general elections of 1992 and then 2015, when the Conservative Party exceeded opinion polls and comfortably won re-election.

Any of these factors could have been the reason Trump did better than the pre-election polls' figures. Many who wanted to vote for Trump didn't show it, until when they stepped into the voting booth. Those living in predominantly Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, or in states where Hillary Clinton was the favorite, found it hard to express their real preference due to fear, as many Clinton supporters thought that only a bigot would vote for Trump. The above theories, concerning observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some United States government elections, made some voters who intended to vote for Trump to nonetheless tell pollsters that they are undecided, or likely to vote for Hillary. As noted previously, any of the above factors may have made the Christians - the evangelicals, the pastors, the clergies as a whole, to give inaccurate polling responses for fear that, by stating their true preference, they will open themselves to criticism or attack, as such many of them were under pressure to provide an answer that is deemed to be more publicly acceptable, or 'politically correct'.

Also, the reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well. And as America has so many time zones, voting do start at different times across the time zones, and the results are usually being released differently, according to when the voting started. Those in states which started voting later might be influenced by the already released results or exit polls from the states where the election started earlier. So, many might have decided to move with the current trend, voting for the already winning candidate, in states where the released results or exit polls stated so, instead of wasting their vote.

On the other hand, based on the pre-election polls that Hillary will win convincingly, many people decided that it didn't worth it voting for her again, since she "has already won", and instead, they decided to waste their vote on Trump, who was then the "underdog", since almost all polls said he will never win. On this point, it has been confirmed that many, adults, youth, minorities, stayed at home, because they thought Clinton has already won. The Yahoo News noted that, in a New York Times op-ed, David Plouffe, who managed President Obama's triumphant 2008 campaign, listed low turnout among younger and African-American voters as Clinton's chief problem in states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Plouffe's litany of causes came down to this: Donald Trump's voters were super-excited about their candidate, and Clinton's voters less so.

To be continued!

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rJJKSLjFec

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nMjMHUOxhI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhePdwlbQl8

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

Continued from Part 3

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IMAGES IN THE NEWS