Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-09-22 10:07 The Election Day in the US presidential race is getting ever closer. The first US Presidential debate is slated for 26 September. Will Hillary Clinton be the first woman to be elected president or will it be Donald Trump, the Teflon candidate? Typically, the Labour Day marks the beginning of the ‘perception campaign’, which hints at the candidate who looks more presidential. The US Presidential debates have been about sound bites which offer a candidate a ‘make or break’ perception in the eyes of the media. As of today, Hillary is perceived to be the stronger candidate, notwithstanding her health issues in the recent past. On the other hand, Trump is being seen as a person who flip-flops on his main issue: immigration. Trump has to prove that he is presidential and not a liability with his various vacillating statements about immigration, Blacks, women, gays, and Mexicans. Hillary, on the other hand, has a problem in the form of trust issues with the electorate and media. The entire trust issue is over her emails and the Clinton Foundation. US polls are a combination of popular votes and the Electoral College. Each state has an Electoral College depending upon the population density. For instance, New York has 29 electoral votes whereas Colorado, being 5 times in size, has got only 9 electoral votes. To be elected president, the magic number that each candidate has to secure is 270. The issues before the voters are: economy 84pc and terrorism 80pc followed by foreign policy 75pc, healthcare 74pc and immigration 70pc. Surprisingly, immigration ranks a distant sixth. Ninety percent of Trump’s supporters rate economy as very important and 89pc feel the same way on terrorism. Eighty percent of Hillary's supporters rate economy as important and 75pc feel the same way about terrorism. The defining difference for Hillary is that 79pc of her supporters, as compared to 42pc of Trump, feel racial equality is very important for their support. The issues that are centre stage are economy, terrorism, foreign policy, healthcare and immigration. The younger voters in the US place greater importance on the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities whereas voters over 65 and older and white male view terrorism and economy as very important. While Hillary is seen as having an edge over Trump in popular votes, Trump’s Achilles heel is the Electoral College vote. Historically, the Toss-Up States with their Electoral College votes have decisively elected the president. These Toss-Up States, by definition, have not fully endorsed either candidate. With Florida being the largest Toss-Up State, all polls suggest that Hillary is leading in the Electoral College votes. Trump is short by around 100 Electoral College votes. These Swing States are between 14 and 11, which will eventually decide the Presidential race. This election is a defining moment in the US history for 2 reasons — a woman as president and the re-affirmation of Obama’s legacy as the first Black president. The US has always been a country that has set new and radical bench marks for all democracies in the world to follow.