I’ve been following the US election coverage for months and I know I’m not alone. Never has there been a more controversial US election in history and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the outcome. This election is so contentious, US gun sales have soared and neo-Nazi groups are planning to monitor voting booths in response to Trump’s accusations that the election is rigged. This election is pretty damn scary, from scandal, to sexism and racism it feels pretty unbelievable that we are watching this happen at all. The US is the most powerful nation in the world and an Australian ally so we will all definitely be affected by the outcome of this election.
When will we know the outcome?
The US goes to the polls Tuesday November the 8th , which means AEDT most of the voting happened while Australians were asleep and we will start to see results from 11.30am today. If it’s a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton this will be apparent by AEDT 1.30pm. 3pm is the earliest an actual victory will be called, otherwise it’s a fight for the key swing seats.
Each US State has a number of electoral college votes based on size and population, the number required for a majority is 270 votes. So the first to 270 votes becomes the next President of the United States.
What will a Trump presidency mean for Australia?
- Trump has put all previous US allies on the table for discussion. In other words anyone who considers themselves an ally of the US may not be if Trump becomes President, this includes Australia. Although Trump has not made any calls on an Australian alliance he has certainly questioned US ties with Japan, South Korea and NATO, and is encouraging them to look after themselves with nuclear weapons. The implications of nuclear war are pretty fucking dire.
- The environment will suffer under Trump who has vowed to reverse Obama’s clean power plan and says the concept of climate change was created by the Chinese to make US manufacturing less competitive. Sigh.
- Trump is threatening a trade war with China which would have an bad effect on Australian shares and our economy as we rely heavily on trade.
- Australia has fought with the US in every major conflict since World War 1. Trump is advocating water board torture and killing ISIS family members to get terrorism under control.
What will a Clinton presidency mean for Australia?
- Clinton has made it clear she is a fan of the Aussies, in her words “I love your country” so our alliance with the US is safe if she wins. However, there are concerns that she may make some big demands of Australia including hosting US Air Force assets including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.
- Like Trump, Clinton also opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership which enables Australia to trade more easily with the US, but might be prepared to embrace other trade deals. So it’s a kind of let see what happens deal.
- Clinton wants to collaborate with allies like Australia and Muslim nations to dismantle terror networks.
Can Trump win?
It’s possible but unlikely. Swing states in the US are like marginal seats in Australia, the swing states in this election are Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire. If Clinton wins all the states she is expected too plus just one of these swing states she will win the election. In contrast Trump needs to win ALL the swing states plus the states he is expected to win to take presidency.
Other things you need to know.
- Unlike Australia the winner of the US election does not take office immediately and Obama will remain the president until inauguration day on 20th January 2017.
- There is twice as much Australian media coverage of this election than of our own election!
Who do you think will win?