US Elections 2016: Final countdown

The gloves are off

PHOTO: ISTOCK DESIGN: CHNG CHOON HIONG

With one month to go, it is crunch time in the US elections. After more than a year of campaigning, the identity of the next occupant of the White House will be decided on Nov 8.

Mrs Hillary Clinton is entering the final phase with momentum on her side after a strong performance in the first presidential debate and a string of problems for Mr Donald Trump in the days that followed.

From an early-morning Twitter war on a beauty pageant winner to harmful allegations of not paying taxes for 18 years, the brash Manhattan billionaire has seen his campaign stall. The Democratic Party, in the meantime, is running a smooth, professional campaign that is far better funded and has a stronger ground operation. Still, observers are not yet prepared to declare the winner of the race. Mr Trump has already defied every expectation to get this far in the campaign.

"At this particular point, it is hard to see how Hillary Clinton loses. But it is early in October and this has been such an unpredictable year that it would be foolish to make a hard and fast prediction," says University of Notre Dame professor of American studies Robert Schmuhl.

 

Polls continue to show a larger- than-normal pool of undecided voters, primarily because both major party candidates are highly unpopular. What will make a difference, say pundits, will be which of the candidates can get more of their voters to turn out to vote in the handful of swing states that are in the balance.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'The gloves are off'. Print Edition | Subscribe