The American general election has been well on its way since both the Republican and the Democratic conventions took place in July. As much as the general election comes down to the final candidates left standing from each party, it’s also about each candidate gaining access to voters who have not been engaged with every corner of the election cycle over the last year.
So, in a way, the general election is an attempt for these candidates to sway the leftovers.
Donald Trump’s approach to the general electorate appears to be to try and lure those voters into his populist message, assuming that his platform is one most Americans want to vote for.
It would appear that he’s counting on the votes of those who are not regular voters to strengthen his base. However, while Trump has strengthened his base, the latest polls from the Huffington Post show that he’s plateaued and regular news reports show that he continues to repelling others than he’s drawing in.
As for Hillary Clinton, her platform is the epitome of the mainstream, which is why she’s more than likely to win the general election by overwhelming numbers.
It’s been several weeks since Donald Trump has made headlines for offending the key demographics he needs to win the general election. On Wednesday, in order to prepare for the upcoming general debates, both candidates were part of Commander-In-Chief forums, where they were asked questions in front of veterans. Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, which triggered a strong negative reaction from not only rival Clinton but the mainstream press as well.
This can only be another punch in the gut of the general electorate, as the general view of the Russian president isn’t at all positive, according to Gallup in 2014. The feeling is mutual even for both Republicans and Democrats.
He's built a movement and people are proud to be a part of it. When you insult him, you insult them. https://t.co/Vd7N6Ao6ZE
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 9, 2016
Nonetheless, it would seem that Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has at least been somewhat effective in changing his tone to make him more accessible to the general public. However, the latest polls still show him lagging behind.
Every now and again, there are claims that he is gaining on Hillary, but for the past two months since the conventions, the polls have remained the same.
Everyone’s Out To Manipulate The General Public
The press media tells us that Hillary Clinton is being viewed as “the lesser of two evils,” which implies that she’s still a bad choice. That feeds into the doubt among voters as to who they should vote for.
In the same way, the press is also reporting on the various accusations against her. The media is also used to inflate the changes in the polls or provide a megaphone of misinformation to mislead the general public.
Again, the general election is a wide swipe at everyone who’s left in America. They can hear the news that a candidate is gaining, and it could simply be a declaration from one surrogate who used that “megaphone” setting. That could sway a voter’s decision.
Whether that misinformation does actual damage or not is debatable, as there’s no way to actually know how successful either candidate was during the general election until Election Day. But what could be considered dangerous are the attacks and how they’re being used to assert doubt into voters. One could look at those attacks as ammunition for the Donald Trump campaign.
After a recent interview with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, the host referred to the birtherism theory that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States as Republicans playing “dirty tricks,” just as it was during the Nixon campaign.
Birtherism appears to have done the job to sway public opinion and doubt, and it might be enough to gamble on a possible win.
In every election, there is always the gamble of what kind of tactics are going to win it for the candidates in the race. But this year, the gamble from at least one of the candidates is based entirely on misleading the public, deflecting the arguments, and spinning a point of view of what most Americans have believed from day to day into something it is not.
There are certainly dirty tricks played during every election cycle in order to put pressure on the rival candidate as well as sway the public vote. But the prediction that it was only going to get worse has come true, and now the gamble is over whether Americans are going to hedge their bets on a more positive platform and a familiar candidate or someone who is playing the general election as if the mainstream doesn’t matter anymore.
[Photo by John Minchillo/AP Images]