Battle of the Bases: Presidential Edition

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Safra Shakir, Staff Writer

With less than a month to go before the forty-fifth presidential election, both sides have done their best to derail the opponent’s campaign. Despite these efforts, neither group has made significant progress with undecided voters. The onset of the hot mic scandal has only intensified the divide between Americans. At this crucial time in the race for the oval office, the country has been split into two groups; those who will never vote for Trump, and those who will never vote for Clinton. Each side is ferociously against the opposing candidate, and absolutely nothing will sway their minds.

The Trump base has hardly wavered despite the battering its candidate endured from the groping allegations. When Access Hollywood released the tape of Trump speaking about women in degrading terms, the response was identical to that of Trumps. They readily accepted his defense of “locker room talk” and affirmed that Bill Clinton did worse. The abandonment of the GOP did not sway them either. Even as dozens of GOP politicians fled from their nominee’s side, 45% of Republicans said that they wanted Trump to stay in the race. When ten women came forward to accuse Trump of groping of sexually assaulting them, his supporters insisted that the accusers were plants from the liberal media. Indeed, media bias has been a focal point of Trump’s campaign. His allegations that the media is against him have risen in relation to his slump in the polls.

In the last few weeks, Trump has gone on an anti-media tirade, the most recent of which being his rant on the satirical Saturday Night Live. He tweeted that the show performed a “hit job” on him. He later tweeted that the “election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media.” He went on to challenge the integrity of recent polls, extended his belief of bias to “many polling places.” The idea that the election is rigged is not new to Trump’s support base. Throughout the election, when Trump falls in the polls, his staunchest supporters have accused the election of being false. Rudy Guliani has fanned the flames of the fire with his quip that “dead men tend to vote democrat.” As his hold on the presidency wavers, Trump’s final stronghold lies on the desperation of his base. If they believe that a Clinton victory is eminent due to a corrupt election, they will come out in full numbers to defend their candidate.

Despite the near collapse of the GOP, as well as Trump’s declining numbers with women, the race is not as close as it seems. One poll has Clinton leading by eleven points, while another has her leading at just four. Both candidates have worked to maintain their base, a tactic eminent in both debates. In this plan however, they have failed to convince undecided voters. These voters, who neither hate nor love either candidate, could either abstain from voting or vote for a third party candidate. If they do, the election will go to the candidate with the bigger case. As for who that is, we will have to wait until November.