The 2016 presidential election has been unusually contentious and has borne widespread dissatisfaction in the American electorate. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the most disliked presidential nominees on record. For millions of voters their decision has come down to which nominee represents the “lesser of two evils”. Amongst the increasingly polarized American public many of these ideologically-separated citizens cannot agree on basic facts and also disagree on the fundamental tenets of a democracy. Political preferences by demographics show an increasingly divided America, suggesting this presidential election will be decided along gender and racial lines.
While this election season has highlighted the vast differences between the Democratic and Republican parties, it has also revealed divisions within these parties. The Republican Party and to a lesser extent the Democratic Party have become more ideologically dispersed over time. An increase in the number of extreme left-wing Democrats and ultra-conservative Republicans have created cracks in both parties. This may be seen in the popularity of Bernie Sanders and the nomination of Donald Trump. These crack seem especially evident in the Republican Party.
The Republican Party has seemingly been torn apart by Trump’s nomination. While Donald Trump has his ardent supporters within the GOP, many Republicans are tepid at best about his candidacy. Many have begrudgingly endorsed and voted for him while others have completely disavowed Trump and are voting for Hillary Clinton. Including numerous Republican Party leaders. Many political pundits and commentators are forecasting a GOP civil war following the election, no matter the outcome. With some predicting that the Republican Party as currently constituted will cease to exist and instead split into at least two distinct political parties.
Seemingly, no matter the outcome of this presidential election the American public will be faced with an unpopular president, splintered political parties, an unproductive national government, and overall feelings of dissatisfaction with their political institutions.
Have a nice day. And remember to vote.