If we look at the polls Hillary Clinton was basically leading all the time. But situation was/is also pretty volatile. What do you think will be the focus of both candidates in the last week before the election, is it still time for them to also explain their policies to the voters or basically now it is only about attacking the opponent and trying to motivate own supporters? Read few comments.
David Redlawsk, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware
The big picture on the polls is that the race has been quite stable for a long time, moving up and down only in a very small range. So far, in the most recent polls, that seems to still be the case. But at this point it’s really no longer about the polls. It is about getting out the vote. The Clinton campaign, by all accounts, has a massive ground game operation in the key states. The Trump campaign does not appear to have invested much in traditional get out the vote efforts, relying on the national party to do it. Either way, we are into the phase where it is all about motivating supporters, who should have already been identified. There are few voters who really remain persuadable and will actually vote. So the core effort should no longer be attempts to persuade. The Clinton campaign knows this; I’m not sure if Trump does.
Steven Greene, Associate Professor of Political Science, North Carolina State University
Does anybody even care about policies?! :-). Obviously, there are huge differences, but there has been so little focus on that in this campaign. Any voters who actually cared about policy in any serious way would have long ago made up their minds. I would say the focus now is definitely on motivating one’s own supporters to get out and vote. And in this election cycle, the biggest motivator seems to be fear of the opponent becoming president.
Robert Busby, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Liverpool Hope University
There is little time left to explain issues, and certainly with both being so prominent across time then there would be few who do not know at least something about the candidates. The main issue is trying to get negativity to stick to the opponent, and then the key challenge is mobilizing the vote in the battleground states. In the last week candidates generally go to states like Ohio and Florida which are close in the polls and can swing the election outcome. Trump will challenge that Hillary is unfit for office and that a person under scrutiny in the way that she is now over e-mails cannot be trusted in government. Hillary will attack Donald on his divisive comments and allegations of past misconduct with women.
Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of North Texas
The last week is key, mainly for getting supporters out to the polls. There are opportunities to both attack and provide a vision for their respective presidencies, but a lot of the speeches and efforts that remain are about mobilizing supporters. Most people have already made up their minds, and although the FBI investigations may push some undecideds against Clinton, there are likely very few undecided voters left in the electorate.
On ground game, Clinton should have the advantage given that she has invested in organization, whereas Trump has not, and she is running a traditional campaign, whereas Trump is not.