So far,a Clinton presidency seems to be only a continuation of her predecessor, but will American voters look to change direction?
A lot is at stake in the upcoming presidential election, according to both political parties. That much is true, but it depends on which side is doing the talking as to what is at stake. The Republican and their candidate Donald Trump are saying the country is headed in the wrong direction, while the Democrats counter we should stay the course and continue the president’s plan for hope and change.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has a tough row to hoe, in seeking the office for the next four years. She has to maintain the support of the voters that swept her predecessor into office, while reaching out to the disillusioned voters that were mesmerized by Bernie Sanders and his vision of where the country needs to go.
A recent Gallup poll seems to indicate the majority of the country agrees with Trump on the question of which direction the nation is headed. That poll reported that a mere 17 percent of all Americans felt they were satisfied with the country’s condition.
A few weeks back, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters found that only 18 percent answered they thought the country was “headed in the right direction,” and a whopping 73 percent reported they thought things were “off on the wrong track.”
Quite a contrast from what you hear from the current administration. The President himself said in his speech to the Democratic National Convention, “By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.”
That’s one of the problems. There are a number of ways to measure how the economy is growing and how much more prosperous the nation has become, and each side is more than willing to point out the ones that make their positions look the best.
But the one that is probably most important to the majority of the voters is the measure of household income. That is the one that directly impacts the families across the nation and their daily lives. According to a recent CBS News article, the typical American household now earns $57,206 each year, numbers provided by Sentier Research. That number was $57,147 in December 2007, when recession started to affect the country’s economy. That is an increase of only $59 in over eight years, hardly enough to notice.
The numbers may say the economy is growing and that may make economists and politicians happier, but the average American is not seeing the results trickle down into their bank account. You may argue all day that the numbers are hard evidence, but it’s hard to convince those millions of Americans living from paycheck to paycheck things are better. And voters don’t care about your numbers and trend charts when headed to the polls.
You can also argue that it would have been much worse had it not been for the president’s economic policies, but that is impossible to prove, and even if it is true, the American households want to see economic growth in their world, not the statistical models of some think tank.
If anything, the speeches at the DNC seemed to imply the Clinton administration would primarily be an extension of the Obama administration. Little has been said to lead anyone to think otherwise.
There are any number of issues on which to build a campaign, but the economy is one that impacts all Americans, without regard to race, religion or national origin. That is the one on the average American’s minds daily, and the one they will be thinking about waiting in line at the voting booth in November.
Will they choose to continue the present course, or look to a change in direction?