The “Student Blog Post” series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
With one of the arguably worst presidential elections coming to an end, we sit back and think who might actually win the 2016 Presidential Election. Not many weeks ago, it looked like Hillary Clinton might easily win after Donald Trump’s comments about women had surfaced. Additionally, women were coming out, claiming Trump assaulted them. There were also several Republicans who came out to openly oppose Trump. Current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been unsure if he should endorse Trump or not. However, after this past weekend he endorsed Trump, arguing voters should still support the Republican Party.
As we fast forward to today, the presidential race looks much closer as political attention seems to be focused on Hillary Clinton’s emails. However, how important are these emails? How much do we really care about them? Do we only care about them because the media is talking about them, forcing everyone to show interest? It did raise the issue that Hillary Clinton would seem to be untrustworthy and perhaps an unreliable person to run a country.
The Columbia Model hypothesized that voters’ approached the ballot like a marketplace, influenced by the media. However, they found that voters are heavily influenced by socialization forces in determining their opinion. Moreover, looking at this year’s election, it would seem that Hillary Clinton would be the wise choice in regards to the model showing voters’ close attention to social groups. In order to win, one journalist claimed that Trump would need roughly 47% of the Latino vote. After Trump’s racial comments, it would be a tough goal to achieve but if he’s made it this far, what’s to say he cannot get the votes necessary?
The Michigan Model furthers the findings of the Columbia Model by adding a psychological factor that would result with the “funnel of causality”. Within the funnel, voters are influenced by: party identification (the strongest factor), candidate characteristics and issues. Brown concluded in the readings that millennials should be looking at other candidates that better represent them on key issues, as they are unsatisfied with the Democratic Party. With this election it seems people are switching support in parties, which would go against the most important factor in the funnel. With this election, there are many cases that challenge these kinds of findings. Will people vote against Trump for his comments? Will they support Hillary for her political resume?
Jorge Gonzalez is a fourth year Political Science major that enjoys watching and playing sports and listening to music in his free time.