Hillary Clinton - The First Lady when husband Bill held office between 1993 and 2001, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to be nominated for the presidency by a major political party after winning 34 Democratic contests to Bernie Sanders’ 23. She has held positions as Secretary of State and as a US senator, while she also had a successful law career before venturing into politics.
She found herself at the centre of controversy when it emerged that she had used a private email account to discuss official business during her time as Secretary of State, however, an FBI investigation has found no wrongdoing on her part, but generally there are few doubts about her credibility as a presidential candidate. She quickly moved to make clear her stances on foreign policy, criminal justice reform and many other issues which will prove popular, such as the affordability of higher education, but has been accused of having a ‘likability problem' and lacking warmth. The 68-year-old has also faced concerns regarding her health following a much-publicised stumble at a 9/11 memorial service.
Donald Trump - Trump has been in the public eye for many years due to his background as a property tycoon and successful businessman, having launched a wide range of products, golf courses, hotels and other buildings and found even greater fame as the star of reality TV show The Apprentice. He had no political experience prior to standing for the Republican nomination, in which he won 41 of the contests to easily defeat his closest competitor, Ted Cruz.
Trump’s outspoken passion has gained him favour with a larger number of Americans than many would have expected, perhaps because so many voters have become disillusioned with mainstream politics and find his straight-talking nature a refreshing change. He has been widely criticised for many of his extreme comments and the pressure increased further when a video tape of a lewd conversation about women was leaked to the media. Of Trump's policies, it is his views on immigration, which include the famous promise to build a wall on the Mexican border, that have gained most coverage, so there are severe reservations about how he could deliver a fully-rounded manifesto. The businessman-turned-politician could suffer as a result of a number of negative comments he has made about Latino and female voters, statements that could increase the turnout in favour of Hillary Clinton.
Campaigns are typically fought on both personalities and policies, but this has been an extremely unsavoury build-up to the biggest political contest on the planet. As the day of the election looms, Trump’s approach may be to turn up the volume even more and hurl out a few controversial punchlines. The 70-year-old's promise to 'make America great again' is also one that has captured the attention of some voters.
However, as long as Clinton does not get dragged down to this level, it is hard to see Trump winning this battle. Trump is expected to lack support from some key demographics, most notably women, and even though Clinton is the favourite it makes sense to back her in a straight one-on-one competition.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Hillary Clinton to Be US President: 1/5