Oh boy, the country that brought you South American imperialism AND spaghetti with meatballs needs a new president! Yes, the current model, Barack Obama, is old and is prone to jumping out his office window if he has to stay a day longer in office. But that's alright! We got two...uh....awesome candidates for you. Yeah, they're um, great, you know? So just hold tight and get ready for the truthiest ride that only comes around every four years!
Things to Consider Before Posting
In the Blue Corner...
Hillary "Hawkgirl" Clinton
68 Years Old
- Resist the urge to dogpile unpopular sentiments. If it's really inflammatory then report it.
- Just because somebody is/isn't voting doesn't mean they are personally responsible for the downfall of democracy.
- This is SE++ so don't get hung up on derails, especially since this is the slow part of the election cycle.
Former Secretary of State and Senator
Clinton represents the very traditional and "safe" campaign: she's got a shitload of cash and connections. While admittedly most people will freely admit that her best feature is "Not Donald Trump", she does (arguably) have a few things going for her. If the primary is proof of anything, it's that Clinton is still appealing to persons of color, particular older and somewhat more conservative black Americans that see her as an ally during the 90s. She has been a part of the two most popular presidencies in the last twenty years, one of which being the current administration. One also can't forget that she's the first woman candidate, something that could motivate women to vote in higher numbers than normal. Clinton's large warchest also gives her a considerable platform to constantly and loudly call her opponent out on his bullshit. While this tactic didn't stand a prayer during the primary, it's more likely to work during the general where people aren't quite as taken in by Trumpian rhetoric.
Being a very traditional candidate means that Clinton also has very flexible positions and a grave full of scandals of varying veracity. It doesn't help that she comes off a fairly cold and seemingly entitled to the presidency as if it's just her turn and nothing else matters. Younger black Americans see the 90s in a very different light, as Clinton using dogwhistles to create the horrible prison situation we're in today, and that could hurt turn out. It remains to be seen how much of her past, more right-wing views have changed: while she seems more welcoming of LGBT rights, Clinton's hawkish nature does not appear to have gone away. She was cold on the Iran deal, and she has some rather provocative ideas about Syria. It doesn't help that her primary opponent, Sanders, has led to something of a schism in the Democratic party, with a number of voters refusing to compromise once again just because Republicans keep picking the Devil as a candidate. Basically, Clinton has to pass the party purity test without alienating moderates. In other words, a very traditional campaign.
In the Red Corner...
Donald "John Miller" Trump
70 Years Old
he's allowed to run
Trump has become a major dark horse candidate that has basically kneecapped anyone who dared underestimate him. Fashioning himself into a demagogue of the silent majority, he's energized the Tea Party that the Republican party has been building up like dry kindling for the past eight years, and now the match has been struck. As a bonus, he appeals to more fringe camps like libertarians, the alt right, and Literal Nazis. His campaign is really hoping on a combination of getting out the white, angry racist vote while keeping his opponent's camp stifled by playing up her corruption and weaknesses. It's hard to tell what's going to happen here, as the Republican party tries very very hard to prevent candidates like this from moving upwards, but at the same time Trump is the monster to their Frankenstein. Just because the white population is going down doesn't mean they aren't a powerful voting bloc. If people are feeling cold about Clinton and the Mad Men come out in droves, then Trump could pull it off. If he wins, then expect all future elections to get...interesting.
Trump is poison to just about everyone outside his base. His campaign started with him burning whatever bridges the GOP was trying to mend with Hispanics, and gosh Muslims ain't keen on him either. Much like Clinton, he has fractured the party but even worse than the Sanders/Clinton divide. Leaders like Ryan offer only tepid endorsements, and he's missing out on campaign contributions a Republican would normally enjoy. Since he isn't paying for his own campaign, this means he loses the money war by default. It's possible that Republican holdouts will do an about-face in the coming months, like they tend to do regardless of who gets picked. Nevertheless, Trump is running a huge gamble here, deliberately pissing off the rest of the world for that sweet, sweet base.
When are the conventions?
Expect running mates to be announced or leaked a week or two prior.
Isn't Clinton/Trump in legal trouble?
Clinton still has problems with the FBI, but I have no idea where it's going now. Probably still nowhere, as it seems weird (and perhaps biased) to wait until like right before the convention to force the dems into an awkward position. They will undoubtedly force Clinton to fuck off, but the question is her replacement. Sanders seems like an obvious choice, but remember that A] he's kinda been pissing them off by refusing to concede B] they didn't like him to begin with and C] technically he's not even a democrat. These leaves...Biden? Certainly not a bad pick, but it would put them on the defensive for a few months.
Trump is facing lawsuits for his crooked, fake school. It's super unlikely this will have a major impact on the election besides being fodder for attack ads.
What's a battleground?
A state that is polling more or less in the middle is considered a battleground. Because solidly Republican or Democratic states would require too much time and money to make even a dent in polls, candidates focus on the handful of states that are feasible to turn. Now, this doesn't mean that voting in a "stronghold" state is pointless. After all, many battleground states were at one point or another considered reliable votes for one party or the other, and people do pay attention to shifts in polls even if the overall outcome hasn't quite changed yet.
When are the debates?
September 26, 2016
October 4, 2016 (VP)
October 9, 2016
October 19, 2016
When is Election Day?
November 8th, 2016
How long do I have to register to vote?
It varies by state
I want to vote from a safe distance. What are my options for citizens abroad?
This should help you out.
Note that this should also be useful for people who are still in the States but will be in another state/city/etc from wherever they're registered come election day.