Five minutes to midnight

After one of the most extraordinary presidential elections in American history the time has come for the American people to make their choice. The bombshell announcement that the FBI was re-opening the “Emailgate” case, along with the massive rises in Obamacare premiums, led to a significant tightening of the race going into Election Day, although this trend has reversed in the last few days.

Donald Trump’s populist, anti-establishment and neo-isolationist message appears to be resonating with the American public who despise a corrupt, venal and out-of-touch political class, personified in the candidature of Hilary Clinton. The blue-collar billionaire’s “drain the swamp” slogan, like the Leave campaign’s “take back control”, has hit home with Middle America who are angry about the antics of a distant Washington establishment.

For British readers, we are in familiar territory. The polling is too close to call but the “experts” are overwhelmingly calling it for the status quo establishment candidate, in this case Hilary Clinton, to win. This is reflected in the calculations of the betting and financial markets who have priced in a Clinton victory. What the pundocracy are failing to anticipate is a potential “Brexit effect”, the unexpected surge in support, on Election Day, for the anti-establishment candidate which could result in a shock Trump victory.

Of course, the American elections and the Brexit referendum are very different and it maybe that making a parallel between the two political events will turn out to be wrong. The subterranean electoral forces, outlined in my recent post, principally a “shy Trump” factor, the rise in first time white working/lower middle class voters and a late swing to the Donald, will very likely play a significant role in determining the victor of the election.

The truth is that both candidates have a serious chance of winning this election tonight and nobody can know for certain what the American electorate will decide in the privacy of the ballot booth. However, on a balance of probabilities, I maintain my prediction, made at the beginning of the year, that the most likely outcome of the presidential election will be a victory by Donald Trump.

We will soon find out if the alligator really has managed to sink his teeth into Hillary Clinton.

Five minutes to midnight

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