The leader of the anti-immigration French National Front party Marine Le Pen kicked off her presidential campaign on Saturday by echoing many of the same vows that brought Trump to power in the US, hoping promises to shield voters from globalization, promote protectionism, leave the Eurozone, slap taxes on imports and on the job contracts of foreigners, lower the retirement age, increasing welfare benefits and boost defense spending push her above her competitors at a time of sweeping political turmoil in France.
According to opinion polls – which have recently shown their utter irrelevance in the age of Brexit and Trump – the 48-year old daughter of National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has a solid lead in the first round on April 23 but then losing the May 7 run-off to a mainstream candidate, who after last week’s fireworks may no longer be her main challenger Francois Fillon, thanks to a corruption scandal.
And in the most unpredictable election race France has known in decades, the FN hopes a two-day rally in Lyon where Le Pen is spelling out her electoral platform, will help convince voters to back her. “The aim of this programme is first of all to give France its freedom back and give the people a voice,” Le Pen said in the introduction to the manifesto.
As 2016 draws to a close, a sense of unease is gripping many commentators as they look ahead. This year brought victories for Brexit and Donald Trump. The outcome of both votes were largely unexpected. What will 2017 bring? The EU is facing three, or even four, elections in major member states. The Netherlands, France, Germany and possibly also Italy will go to the polls. The outcome in all four elections is far from certain at this stage. Indeed, voting behavior seems to have become difficult to predict.
Economic and sociological research points to a number of different factors provoking these recent results. The debate is broadly about whether it is economic issues such as income inequality, cultural issues such as a rejection of equal rights for women, minorities and gay people, or factors relating to citizens’ perceived loss of control over their destiny that has driven people to support populist candidates and causes.
At first sight, the economic factors seem to have played a strong role. The vote for Brexit predominantly came from the countryside, where GDP per capita levels are significantly lower than in the cities. Moreover, income inequality levels are much higher in the United States and the U.K. than in continental Europe. And indeed, one can show that the Brexit vote is significantly affected by regional income inequality though the effect may not be very large.
The second explanation is a rejection of progressive cultural norms. An interesting study by Ingelhart and Norris emphasizes very much this aspect. They offer evidence that the recent protest votes are a cultural backlash against progressive values. And indeed, discourse especially on social media has totally changed. Unfortunately, it seems to have become widely acceptable to talk of white supremacy and engage in racist discourse.
On Wednesday night, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore made yet another mind-numbing prediction: He strongly suggested to late-night talk show host Seth Meyers that the Electoral College would deny President-elect Donald Trump a victory prior to his January 20th, 2017 inauguration. Moore previously stunned everyone by predicting Trump’s victory at a time when the analytics — and the political-media establishment — all favored Hillary Clinton.
There is a mechanism for what Moore is suggesting, however unlikely, and it exists within the Electoral College itself in the form of a decentralized, existential bunch of wonks. And, historically speaking, they have never actually asserted their power and changed a presidential election. They’re called ‘faithless electors,’ people nominated to represent the will of the people but who may, constitutionally speaking, revoke their duties. So far, there are seven ‘faithless electors’ who have defected from voting for Trump in the Electoral College. Count ‘em, seven — out of 270. That’s not a lot, obviously, but the mind balks at how quickly momentum could swing against a candidate that garnered over 2.5 million fewer votes than his challenger in the popular vote.
Here are three reasons why I believe Trump could, incredibly, still lose this election:
Trump has revealed himself to be fully in support of the establishment.
With his selections for pretty much the full gamut of cabinet positions, Trump has revealed himself to be an establishmentfigure, which is exactly the perception he ran against. Will his voters turn against him? Mostly no (or, at least, not yet). Will the other 74.5 percent of Americans who did not support him reject his victory? Possibly. Will this alone cause Trump to end up losing the vaunted Electoral College? No. Of course not! That’s why there are two more reasons.
Hillary won the popular vote by over 2.5 million.
This is fact. The number is actually growing. It’s historic; it’s actually disgusting if one is prone to be disgusted by electoral politics. Will this alone — or in conjunction with reason one — cause Trump to lose? No. Of course not! That’s why there’s one more, important, reason.
results of the Nov. 8 election if he were to be unsuccessful in gaining 270 electoral votes. “I will look at it at the time…. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace. His rival at the time, Hillary Clinton, called the now president-elect’s response “horrifying,” and throughout the accusation of “talking down our democracy.”
Clinton would run as long as she could with accusing Trump of undermining the democratic process by refusing to accepted the election results, making it a solid part of her attack platform from the third debate forward. During rallies, her supporters would boo Trump whenever Clinton mentioned the fact he refused to say he’d accepted.
Well, now it turns out that Clinton’s supporters are the ones who are refusing to accept the election results as they were announced in the early morning of Nov. 9.
A Change.org petition started by a man in North Carolina to persuade the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump has 2,170,188 signatures since its creation on Wednesday night.
The petition reads:
On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine — which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!
We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?
Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.
Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.
Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump “won” is because of the Electoral College.
The 2016 presidential contest has been one of many “firsts”: the first to include a nominee of a major political party under an active FBI criminal investigation, the first in which nude pictures of a candidate’s wife hit the internet for all to see, etc. Now, with less than 24 hours left until voting gets underway, according to Reuters the 2016 contest is poised to break yet another record as the “most wagered-upon political event” in history.
With many opinion polls showing a tight race just one day before Tuesday’s election, record numbers of bettors are pouring millions into online platforms from Ireland to Iowa in the hope of capturing a financial windfall from a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
UK-based internet betting exchange Betfair said on Sunday its “Next President” market was set to become the most traded it had ever seen and expected to surpass even Brexit, the contentious UK referendum to leave the European Union.
By Sunday, roughly $130 million had been traded on who will become the next U.S. president, compared with $159 million on the Brexit referendum, Betfair spokeswoman Naomi Totten said. The amount bet so far on the 2016 contest dwarfs the roughly $50 million laid on the 2012 race.
On sites like Paddy Power, gamblers can bet on anything from the most likely winner of the 2016 presidential race…
Back in January, when it still wasn’t certain that Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential candidate, let alone be neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in the polls days ahead of the election, we explained why Trump should be praying for a market crash, or rather not so much a market crash as a swoon in the market in the three months prior to the election. We were referring to a market-based indicator which had a near flawless 86.4% accuracy track record.
As we noted at the time, the old saying that “people vote their pocketbooks” is more accurate than the average political analyst thinks. While Wall Street typically worries about how politics might affect the market, presidential candidates are far more concerned about how the stock market might affect their political outcomes.
Here is why this is important: historically, the market performance in the three months leading up to a Presidential Election has displayed an uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House… the incumbent party or the challenger. Since 1928, there have been 22 Presidential Elections. In 14 of them, the S&P 500 climbed during the three months preceding election day. The incumbent President or party won in 12 of those 14 instances. However, in 7 of the 8 elections where the S&P 500 fell over that three month period, the incumbent party lost.
There are only three exceptions to this correlation: 1956, 1968, and 1980. Statistically, the market has an 86.4% success rate in forecasting the election!
The latest ABC / Washington Post poll shows a dead heat in the 2016 presidential race with just 6 days left until election day. The tie comes despite a massive plunge in Hillary’s “trustworthiness” proving that her supporters are blindly loyal and/or ABC’s polling data is simply wrong. That said, ABC points out that Clinton leads among those who say they’ve already voted by a margin of 54-41%…though we suspect a lot of that 54% would like to have their vote back after the latest FBI revelations.
On the particulars, the latest poll was fully conducted after the latest FBI revelations and included an 8-point sampling gap in favor of democrats.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 28-31, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,182 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 37-29-29 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
Another day and another manufactured ABC / Wapo poll to review. In today’s goal-seeking report, which supposedly includes 2 days of post-FBI responses, Hillary maintained a 1-point advantage over Trump despite ABC/Wapo’s admission that her favorability ratings are tanking, support among democrats is declining and voter intesity overall continues to collapse (which is supposedly what drove her massive drop from a 12-point lead in the first place). In part, Hillary’s lead was maintained through another 1 point increase in the democrat – republican sampling spread which increased to 10 points (vs. 9 yesterday and 8 the day before) but we suspect other over “oversamples” of certain groups was also required to engineer this latest farce.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 26-29, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,165 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 37-27-30 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
Ironically, Hillary was able to maintain a slight 1 point advantage over Trump despite a surge in her unfavorability ratings, which are now higher than Trump’s for the first time in this election cycle.
Clinton is seen unfavorably by 60 percent of likely voters in the latest results, a new high. Trump’s seen unfavorably by essentially as many, 58 percent. Marking the depth of these views, 49 percent see Clinton “strongly” unfavorably, and 48 percent say the same about Trump –unusual levels of strong sentiment.
Beneath these results is a possible slip in enthusiasm for Clinton: Using just the last two nights’ results – after FBI Director James Comey revealed a further Clinton-related email investigation – 47 percent of her supporters say they’re very enthusiastic about her, compared with 51 percent across the previous six nights.
In an amusing twist, Julian Assange whose Wikileaks has now had 20 individual releases of hacked John Podesta emails over the past three weeks and who has been accused by Hillary Clinton of collaborating with the Russians in an attempt to disrupt and subvert the US electoral process, accused the Clinton campaign of attacking the servers used by WikiLeaks. Speaking via telephone at a conference in Argentina on Wednesday, RT reported that Assange claimed the daily email release ritual has “whipped up a crazed hornet’s nest atmosphere in the Hillary Clinton campaign” leading them to attack WikiLeaks.
“They attacked our servers and attempted hacking attacks and there is an amazing ongoing campaign where state documents were put in the UN and British courts to accuse me of being both a Russian spy and a pedophile,” he added.
Assange described Ecuador’s decision to shut down his internet for the duration of the presidential campaign as a “strategic position” so that its “policy of non-intervention can’t be misinterpreted by actors in the US and even domestically in Ecuador.” He said he was sympathetic with Ecuador, insisting they face the dilemma of having the US interfere with their elections next year if they appear to interfere with the US elections next month. He also said that he did not agree with Ecuador’s decision but did understand it. WikiLeaks will not be affected by the decision as they do not publish from Ecuador, he said.
He did, however, reject the idea that WikiLeaks is interfering with the US election, claiming, “this is not the interference of electoral process, this is the definition of electoral process – for media organizations and, in fact, everyone to publish the truth and their opinion about what is occurring. It cannot be a free and informed election unless people are free to inform.”