United States Politics October 2016

United States

United States: Clinton's lead over Trump widens but presidential election results are still uncertain

Only a few weeks ahead of the 8 November presidential elections, major polls suggest that Hillary Clinton has extended her lead over Donald Trump, but the presidential race will be decided in the most fiercely contested states. Clinton is currently leading in 10 of the 13 all-important battleground states. The two main contestants’ economic platforms are highly divergent and a special survey we published last month highlighted that economic analysts overall expect that the U.S. economy would grow faster under Clinton than under Trump.

In the third and last presidential TV debate on 19 October, both candidates reaffirmed the cornerstones of their planned economic policies. A Clinton presidency would broadly involve a continuation of current economic policy. She pledges to pursue deficit-neutral policies and to make up for higher spending on infrastructure, families, education and healthcare by implementing a more progressive tax system, which would increase taxation on wealthy individuals. A victory of Trump would lead the U.S. into unchartered waters, as his plans to renegotiate NAFTA, declare China a currency manipulator and withdraw from the TPP threaten to dampen global trade.

On 8 November voters will also designate lawmakers of the complete House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. Current polls suggest that the legislative stalemate under President Barack Obama could persist, which risks thwarting either presidential candidate’s economic initiatives. If Clinton wins, her agenda risks being blocked by the House of Representatives, while a Trump presidency could receive support from a majority in Congress but be blocked by the Senate.

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