Column Title: In These United States

Headline: Polls, Policies and Protests – Where the Presidential Race Stands

Michael Troutman/Staff Writer

After hard campaigning by both candidates in North Carolina recent polls from CNN show Hillary Clinton receiving enough votes to put her just over the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the election. The marginal percentage of which candidate will win has been growing narrower and narrower, with the most recent poll placing the difference between the candidates at 15 percent. The closest margin had been 10 percent back in July with the largest margin being 20 percent in mid-August following the GOP and Democratic National Conventions.

According to the candidate’s websites, they care about many of the same issues. Both think the other is unfit for the presidency on some level. Both seem to agree about many of America’s flaws with Hillary giving more time to social issues and Trump to economic issues. However, the candidates do not offer many pragmatic plans for how they hope to accomplish reform in America, at least not in their campaign literature.

In a surprising speech possibly timed to influence the debates, former Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz made the decision to publicly endorse Donald Trump on Friday, September 23,  nearly two months after his unpopular decision to not do so at the GOP convention, “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.” Whether or not this will give Trump greater support in so called battleground states such as North Carolina, Ohio and Florida in the wake of the first debate remains to be seen.

There is one note of the debates that many Americans, particularly college age, will be disappointed about. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson did not take part. The former New Mexico Governor was not able to meet the required 15 percent popularity needed in key polls to warrant inclusion by the Committee of Presidential Debates.

The results of this election are sure to be controversial. Read further instalments of this column to keep updated on all the election events.