Friday, 19 February 2016


Analysis of Voters' Insight:
Op-ed piece by: Kanwal Abidi                                           
“Washington D.C. You Are Fired!” – has engraved minds of American voters who seek real change in the White House this year.

The vital factor to comprehend is that American voters are in revolt. The crowd at rallies and debate would boo over comments made by US presidential candidates if they talk about claiming high achievements or take political donations from Wall Street or talk about issue over eminent domain or simply tell the audience that they are progressive.  

The time ahead to National Conventions is tough and unpredictable, thus, the US candidates need to understand what an average American wants, to win their delegates to go in the National Convention for Presidential nomination.

Americans want a peaceful sleep where they do not fear ISIS will knock on their doors, they want to plug in the porous border of Mexico and US, they want to reduce the debt incurred in the college education, they want to break away from Planned Parenthood, they want a Affordable Health care plan, they do not want gun violence, they do not want unnecessary wars – because they want to break away from political corruption by voting for an “honest and trustworthy” leader to the White House.

The trust deficit gap between the citizens of America and the government has grown wider, which is reflected in the recent Pew Research Center survey - that less than 20% of voters’ trust the government to take care of them.

In December 2015, the San Bernardino attack heightened the fear of Americans that why is it so easy for anyone to get up and go on a shooting spree. This brought about a long debate on guns control and rights of the citizens enlisted in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The CNN poll revealed that 60% of the voters’ think that American dream is impossible and the survival is at its highest stake these days. According to the voters’, the trait of honesty and trustworthiness matters more than the fact that the candidate has political experience or not.

The establishment leaders running for US presidential candidates have been unable to deliver clear path manifestoes on health, education and foreign policies – which make them untrustworthy for the voter.

The Americans revolt from political corruption and to do away with the big monies – is evident from the voters’ turning their back to the presidential candidates leading Super PACs and gatherings funds from political donors at Wall Street.

The Benghazi attack highlighted the email scandal of Clinton, putting her credibility at stake over misuse of the government email server and not conveying promptly the threat imposed to the US Embassy in the Libya in 2012 to the government authorities.

The results produced by the primaries and caucuses held at the twelve states on Super Tuesday in March, and the upcoming in Nevada and South Carolina in February – will determine the future path for the prospective US candidate. But one thing is for sure – that all candidates should not leave untapped questions in the voters’ mind to secure their mandate.

A democratic voter, residing in Manchester, shared his concern on US presidential race as he waited in the long queue at New Hampshire primary. He is a financial analyst and a father of three children struggling for survival and is concerned about his children going to college and his family health care plan. He “angrily” spoke of government employees’ corruption. He quoted that from July 2013 through June 2014, over 4000 transactions worth just short of $ 1 million were conducted at casinos using the Department of Defense’s government travel cards. Thus, he wants an honest leader in the White House, who can wave a magic wand” against corruption.

Similarly, a GOP lady voter, at Iowa caucus, working as a waitress at a café, wants Trump as her leader as he is against the political corruption and he does not want Washington’s money. She wants to buy prescription medicines with ease, she wants to afford her daughter a good college education without going into a debt and more over she wants to live peacefully without seeing people roaming around with guns openly.

When Sanders announced his presidential candidacy, most of the analysts were vary of the fact that he could never beat Clinton. Nearly everyone cited that a self avowed socialist and a septuagenarian senator could not have a resounding victory over Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.

But it did happen; Sanders had a surging victory over Clinton - that looked unthinkable just a few months ago. Only reason is that voters’ need a candidate who is up to their expectations of being honest and come up to their survival pulse.

Similarly, when Trump announced his candidacy, many were shocked – but the real estate mogul has proved that he is just not entertainer, he has more material to what Americans want. He capitalized on the San Bernardino attack, by calling for a temporary ban on Muslims, to seal US Mexico border and legislate to stop any further Syrian or Iraq refugees coming to America.

Trump said “he could not see Americans dying on streets” and coupled with his vows about not needing Washington money, he has earned voters’ confidence, over his GOP political rivals.

Therefore, in this 216 US presidential race, surprises would be seen as the American electorate is starved for an honest and trustworthy politician – that will automatically make allowances for results which have never been witnessed in the American history.

A shocking paradigm shift is seen in the women voters’ who have moved away from Clinton and trust Sanders more. Sanders edged Clinton with 55% to 44% women favoring Clinton. Further, Sanders proved that young Americans in the age bracket of 18 to 29 years feel totally disconnected from the political establishment and 83% of them voted for him and only 12 % liked Clinton.

Sanders has always stood firmly and advocated for the average American; thus in his victory speech of New Hampshire primary, he called for $ 27 donation towards his fund raising for presidential campaign through his website. Sanders claims that his funds are funded “by the people”, whereas Clinton’s $25 millions Super PACs funds, out of which $15 million came from Wall Street contributions. So, Sanders want to leave this fact for Americans to determine who can lead better “for the people!”

Time will decide who will move forward to the National Conventions, but all the US presidential candidates will need to be more empathetic towards the voters’ and should listen to their concerns to get the Presidential nomination.

The political, elite class must understand the words of Abraham Lincoln “Ballot is stronger than Bullet – so they must respond to the voters’ rising emotions, who want to see an honest, true leader sitting at the Oval Office.

KANWAL ABIDI     17th Feb 2016

The writer is journalist, political analyst and media strategist

Tweets @KANWALanalyst