Well, it’s nearly upon us. I’ve tried to stay away from too much direct comment on the US election, but tonight there will be plenty when we fire up our customary US LIVE blog at 11pm.
We’ve a fair sized team working tonight, and some have already started prepping stories in the background. We’ll try to be a good companion for the evening and early morning.
Betfair thinks it’s Clinton’s…
State Voting (Betfair). pic.twitter.com/0NagLGHr0R
— Niall O'Connor (@okonomia) November 8, 2016
But hey, Betfair also thought there wasn’t going to be a Brexit. The betting markets suffer from the same herding instincts we normal human beings do.
For all the criticisms of both candidates, one thing does seem to be clear, the way they’ve polarised this election means more US citizens are likely to vote today than at any previous time in the history of the American Republic.
Trump for all his bombast and his yuge ego, has brought politics to people who had long since given up on it. People who are both for and against him.
It’s also spawned greater and greater endeavour on the part of journalists to find out why chunks of America are so alienated from that country’s political establishment.
For that, I’m afraid to say, in the first place we owe Mr Trump, and secondarily the Democratic Party machine. People do care about politics, but largely when it’s about them (which most of the time, most people feel it isn’t).
In both cases I’m reminded of Joe Trippi’s account of Dean’s 2004 campaign: “the revolution will not be televised”.
TV killed John Kerry, but I don’t think it’s been as much of a key factor in the last two elections. Clinton’s ground game will possibly save her, but Trump’s following is coming to him through an anti-media as much as it’s an anti-establishment pitch.
This is familiar to people in the Republic where the media are famously poor at reading its complex and highly localised general elections.
We are also used to the off message messages the Irish establishment regularly gets back from the electorate via constitutional referendums. But never quite the strength of message that a President Trump would undoubtedly send.
This report from Bangor Grammar students currently in Washington (the still Clintonite centre of the US federal Republic) picked up this telling remark from Eli, a student from West Virginia:
“A country of 300 million people ought to be able to produce better candidates,” he said. “We are better than this. No-one speaks for me. Our system no longer works.”
That’s the question that needs to be answered. Don’t hold your breathe for an easy one. But do join us from 11pm here tonight on Slugger O’Toole… Here’s our slightly tongue-in-cheek reminder…