US Presidential Election: A Richmond Opinion
Tonight heralds a new dawn for America, and Sports Gazette has gathered local opinion on the long-awaited US presidential election.
In Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Americans are having to choose between two very polarising candidates.
On one hand, Democrat Clinton has the experience and the political pedigree necessary to make a smooth transition into the White House as the first female premier of the US.
In contrast, Republican novice Trump represents a very different voice of America, echoing the xenophobic sentiments of Britain’s looming EU exit.
While opinion polls suggest the US electorate remains undecided, the local Richmond opinion is one of support for Clinton.
Sinead McEneaney, Senior Lecturer in American History at St. Mary’s University, has strong opinions on the election. She said: “Donald Trump is an idiot. Hillary Clinton’s track record is really quite impressive, we’ve been talking now for months about how she is the most qualified candidate that has probably ever run for the presidency in the United States.
"I can’t imagine what a first meeting between Donald Trump and Theresa May would look like! It will also be very interesting to see how Angela Merkel and Donald Trump would deal with each other. I do think, if Trump wins tomorrow, that the markets are going to go completely crazy for a couple of months.”
Ms. McEneaney intends to follow the election until its conclusion in the early hours.
She said: “I’m going home this evening with pizza and beer and we are going to watch it until about 3 in the morning.”Donald Trump is an idiot.”
St. Mary’s student Carli Stehle, who hails from California, offered a conflicting opinion in support of the controversial Trump.
She said: “I am voting for Trump, because I really don’t like Hillary Clinton. I am just going with the lesser of two evils.
“I just think she is a liar. When Bill Clinton was in office it was just not good. There is something about the Clinton family that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
"It’s a legacy thing, it’s like the Bushes. I don’t like legacies, I want something fresh and new.”
Another student, James, offered the prevailing outlook, and said: "Hillary, she's the lesser of two evils. I am more anti-Trump than pro-Clinton."
Whilst St. Mary’s provided two strong, if polarising opinions, members of the Richmond community offered a more ambivalent view.
“One of them will be in office, you need to make a decision. I don’t want Trump to win, but I don’t want Hillary to win either," said Jemma, a Teddington resident.
Terry, a barista at Starbucks, said: “I think they’re both the same, my personal opinion is it’s a bit like the Brexit vote, you’ve got two bad candidates.”
The phrase “lesser of two evils” was a common response from several Richmond residents, with the term surprisingly being used in support of both candidates, underlying just how tight this race has become.
More than 45 million early voters have cast their ballots, with final results expected towards 5am GMT tomorrow morning once polls close on the West Coast.
A BBC poll of polls puts Democrat Clinton ahead by four points at the time of writing.