As of September 13th, the 2016 election showdown is a mere 55 days away. As this great day of decision approaches, candidates from Clinton and Trump down to local officials continue to sharpen their message, reach out to voters, expand field operations, and prepare to get out the vote come November 8th.
One of the most significant developments in the election in upcoming weeks will be the results from the three presidential debates. These debates will take place on September 26th, October 9th, and October 19th (the Vice Presidential Candidates will debate on October 4th). These debates will give US voters a chance to see Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump square off head-to-head for the first time, pitting Trump’s message of conservative and America-first ideas against Clinton’s progressive and globally-inclusive ideas.
Trump desperately needs these debates to help him win support from undecided voters. Clinton has led in the polls for months, leading by a large margin in important swing states. Read more about the state of the polls here.
Both candidates have had continued difficulties with accusations of lying. Most recently, Mr. Trump has received flack for misconstruing his position on the Iraq War while being interviewed by Matt Lauer. Other recent controversies include Trump’s insistence, at a veterans’ forum, that women in the military are at fault for the sexual assault that occurs and his continued support of President Vladimir Putin, of Russia.
Clinton has also received her fair share of criticism in recent weeks from the media and the public. She was critiqued for not smiling enough while speaking on national defense and veterans’ issues earlier this week. It was discovered that Clinton has been suffering from a pneumonia infection when she left a 9/11 memorial early. She assured voters in a CNN interview on Monday that it was a minor case and nothing to worry about. Also, allegations regarding ‘pay-to-play’ in the Clinton Foundation have been circling.
Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President, has continued to poll a few percentage points below the 15% margin needed to be included in the debates. He hopes that, should his support rise, this exposure to undecided voters could turn the election on its head. It remains to be seen, however, whether he will reach the necessary benchmark.
The candidates will now continue to ramp up their operations in key swing states and proceed down the final stretch of this tumultuous election season. As of now, that is all we know for sure.