Leeds Student Radio held a press conference in Old Bar this evening ahead of the US elections.
With Old Bar filling up already, members of LSR talked to the press about the US elections, giving their thoughts and opinions about the upcoming results. Members of the panel represented both the UK and the US providing a views from both sides of the pond.
In the run up to the election, polls show Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton consistently ahead. But in recent weeks the gap has been consistently narrowing, partly due to the untimely reopening of FBI investigations into Clinton. However, with an impossible amount of data to sift through, and in light of the UK’s own referendum results this year, can you really trust the polls?
US citizen, Alison Keefner, spoke of the unquantifiable nature of this year’s election:
“It’s so different from 2012. Social media, particularly twitter has played a huge part in the run up.”
James Ward, co-head of news at LSR, drew attention to the importance of the “Trumpism”. Trump in particular has made strong use of the wide reach of social media. But has what he has said been more damaging than beneficial to his candidacy? By insulting Hispanics, Muslims, Women and others to boot, has he alienated the voting public too much? Lauren Ellis thought the minority vote would play a “major part”.
“After Obama’s presidency the door has been opened for minorities in America to vote. He’s really given a voice to the minority.”
Similarly, the stark preference of female voters for Hillary has the potential to swing the vote in her favour. Katlin Van Buren in particular was sure that the woman’s vote in America would make the difference, giving a resolute “yes, it will” after the question was posed.
While of course either candidate could win, fears around the possibility of a Trump presidency were palpable. None of the members of the panel wanted Trump to win, not because of an intentional bias, but because it seems in Leeds it is difficult to locate a Trump supporter. James Ward spoke of his own experience of interviewing the public.
“Today I spoke to 30 or 40 Leeds students and not a single one said they were supporting Trump.”
But the interest in the US presidential election here in the UK is just a small window into the truly global impact of result. Old Bar, as well as bars across the country are packed out tonight in anticipation rivalling that of our own General Election this year. Whatever happens, it’s going to be big.
All there is to do now is wait….