Mohammad Zainal Abedin
New York – Professor Dr. Justin Phillips, of Columbia University predicts that Hillary Clinton is the probable Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
Dr. Phillips made this assertion at a press briefing held on November 2 at New York Foreign Press Centre. Dr. Justin Phillips, of Columbia University who provided an update view on the upcoming U.S. election scheduled to be held in November, 2016.
MS Monica Shie, the Media Relations Officer of New York Foreign Press Center, an organ of U.S. Department of State, in her welcome address introduced Professor Dr. Justin Phillips, of Columbia University. Journalists Washington D. C. of Foreign Press Center also participated in the press briefing.Prof. Phillips differentiated between the presidential election and the primary elections of the U. S. He branded U. S. system ‘as a `little complicated’ and said, through primary elections the two major political parties of America, Democratic Party and Republican Party, nominate their Presidential candidates. Primary elections are held within the party circle, while the Presidential election is nationally held through ballots.
He explained the complexities of primary and said, the nominee for each party is the candidate who receives the largest number of delegates, or a majority of the delegates at their party’s convention. Dr. Phillips informed that if the present flow goes well, Democratic Party’s probable Presidential candidate is Hillary Clinton as she is doing well even before voting begins.
He said, voters are to register themselves either as Democrats or Republicans ahead of election. But they can cast vote even without registering their names with any party and they can also remain independent.
He clarified how any particular State gets delegates what the proportion of voters depends on both in primaries and caucuses.
He said, March 1 of the election year (2016) is regarded as Super Tuesday when 11 states will vote at the same time. Concerned parties, particularly the Republicans, are working hard to show their strength. He said Republican Party still has a large number of candidates and if no one’s winning more than a couple of states in the big primaries, its delegates would be distributed fairly evenly across the candidates.
Dr. Phillips predicted that the upcoming convention may be interesting and eventful one and after the conventions, the election will move to the general election phase. “So even though these American presidential elections are really long … and we’ve been going through, living through this for months,” he said and added, “ – the actual kind of real general election is August, September, and October with early with voting – with the national Election Day on November 8.”
He explained the ‘odd institution’ known as ‘Electoral College’ “where every state is given a certain number of electoral votes. Every state has two electoral plus one additional electoral vote for every member of the House of Representatives. And so basically, the electoral votes are distributed in strong correlation with population. States like California, New York, Texas, have a great – a lot of electoral votes and have a lot of influence on outcomes”, Dr. Phillips explained.
Though he predicts, “— it is probably the case that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee,” still he sees that “a lot can happen between now and the actual voting.” “But for Democrats and presumably Hillary Clinton, it’s very difficult for one party to win the presidency three times – three times in a row. Typically, if a party wins twice, then the American public sort of turns the White House over,” Dr. Phillips added.
He said, Hillary will convince the voters to offer something new – a new approach with a new government under her. He said, Hillary’s position is pretty better, as the current economy ‘continues to do well’ that will help her attract voters. On the other she did well in her first debate.
Dr. Phillips opined, the Republican aspirants antagonise the minorities — the non-White population, that will create better position for Hillary. He branded Trump as better candidate among the Republican aspirants.
When asked what prompted Democratic Party aspirant Bernie Sanders, to label himself as a Democratic socialist, Dr. Phillips said, “socialist” is kind of a bad word in American politics, so this is why Bernie Sanders is labeling himself a democratic socialist and trying to define what that means for the American electorate. But I think that the socialist label would sort of doom him in a general election if he were to win the Democratic nominee, because it’s a label he’s embraced before.
When Dr. Phillips attention was drawn to the Republican Party candidates, who made inflammatory statements regarding minorities the Muslims, he said, “it’s a problem for the Republican Party to be associated with kind of anti-immigrant rhetoric in primaries to win the Republican primary. This was the strategy Mitt Romney tried in 2012 and it didn’t really work. So these statements get recorded. “
“I think this does the Republican Party damages for the general election. I think what Republicans hope is that they can be tough on immigration and then try and win minority voters over in the general election by talking about economic issues and economic growth. But it’s a very difficult strategy.”
GreenWatch Dhaka representative wanted to get the personal comments of Dr, Phillips regarding the declaration that no Muslim should be allowed to become U.S. president, and closure of the Muslim prayer houses, Dr. Phillips said, “Is this about Donald Trump? Is that – I think that – I mean, personally I’m not a Donald Trump’s supporter, but it’s – he – I think he does not stand a very strong chance of winning, but there’s nothing to disqualify him in the constitution from serving should he be elected. But it’s hard to see him – it’s hard for me to see him winning the Republican Party nomination.
When asked whether Democratic Party gains the control of the Senate again, Dr. Phillips replied, “The Democrats would need to probably win at least five Senate seats, assuming that they won the White House, to control the Senate. You can see where, though, there is a number of Republicans from blue-leaning states, or states that have voted for – voted Democratic in the last presidential election. So it’s – assuming that the Democratic nominee does reasonably well and wins the presidency, the Democrats would probably pick up a number of Senate seats. The question is, are they going to – would they pick up five, six, or seven, and that’s going to depend on kind of how the nominee ends up performing. So if the Democratic nominee wins comfortably, then I could see the Democrats picking up enough seats.
Mohammad Zainal Abedin