The dust has begun to settle and the stage show has commenced with the curtain going up. The battle lines are drawn and the candidates on the verge of bagging the nomination. The GOP is likely to nominate Donald Trump, never mind that old timers and the caucus don't want him. On the Democrat side, the road to the nomination looks clear for Hillary Clinton who has fended off a serious challenge from  Bernie Sanders. The stage is set for a clash between  these two challengers. The American political system has a two party system. Theoretically, anyone can stand for the presidency , but all this is an eye wash as outside these 2 mainstream parties, no one stands a chance. For all practical purposes, the clash is only between Donald and Hilary.

Like in India, the election to the presidency is a hot topic and pollsters have a field day informing the opinion of Americans like a barometer. The  Gallup  polls have opened and show that Hillary has a sizeable lead of 10-12 points over Donald. This result has been latched on by opponents of Trump as a sign that Donald will be defeated at the hustings. They point out that the GOP challenger has the lowest ratings by any candidate during the last 3 elections, lower than Mitt Romney and John McCain. Both these worthies lost the election to President Barack Obama. This is certainly a cause for worry, but not alarming as Donald has not yet pressed the accelerator and is only revving up the engine. Trump has himself stated that he has as yet not launched his campaign.

Donald Trump has to, however, fight hard as big business and wall street are solidly behind Clinton. In addition, she has the support of the blacks and the Hispanics. Donald has to rely only on the extremist whites to sail through. But the whites constitute 72% of the electorate and in case the rightwing whites gather in support  for him, he may yet sail through. Another thing readers may well bear in mind that winning the popular vote does not mean winning the presidency. Bob Dole won the popular vote, yet lost to George Bush.

This is because of the peculiar method of choosing the president , which is through an  electoral college. Each state has been allotted a certain number of votes as per its size and population. Any candidate who wins the popular vote will be awarded ALL the votes of that state, irrespective that he won by even one vote. Thus, in case a candidate wins some of the big states then his road to the presidency is that much easier. Donald Trump thus has his work cut out and he is likely to press forward his candidature in the midwest and southern states where the GOP has its stronghold. The crucial state of New York is also likely to go in the lap of Donald. Hence, Donald cannot be written off.

As in all elections and that includes India, pollsters are not always right and this projection of Donald trailing, cannot be taken as a gospel truth. Moreover, the public mind is fickle and takes another incident like the one in Florida at the Pulse Night Club to swing the mood of the electorate.  Donald is fighting with one arm tied behind his back as his opponents led  by Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, and Kasich has not endorsed him. This shows that the GOP is a divided lot, yet Donald has charisma and  that may yet carry the day.

Hillary looks like sailing along smoothly, but she has a congressional investigation on regarding her server and personal emails as well as the fact that she is identified with the years of appeasement of the Obama administration. One can remember her attempt to cover up the Benghazi killings along with Obama and Donald is sure to exploit this incident. His reference to Hillary as "crooked Hillary" shows that it will be a no holds barred campaign that may well decide whether the USA will continue to rule the roost as a world power. To my mind, Hillary looks an unlikely candidate as the supreme commander of the US forces and one wonders what the US serviceman feels about Hillary.  


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