96 years later: Women’s Role in the 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both gone the full 12 rounds, leaving the scoring decision in the hands of the American people. Tomorrow we are going to find out how the voting electorate has responded to perhaps the most negative campaign in US history. In fact, the 2016 race has made history in a whole lot of ways. For the first time since our country’s founding, a woman leads the ticket of a major party. And that woman will be counting on the support of other women tomorrow if she’s to win.

Gender has had a very important hand in influencing the direction of this election so far. Seemingly in a throwback to elementary school, the 2016 election has at times devolved into boys vs. girls. For instance, take this recent poll from McClatchy/Marist in which women support Clinton 48-36, and men support Trump 49-37. What does this mean? It appears that women and men have different ideas about what they want to see in the future of our country. If we were to roll back the clock by about 96 years and a few months, these poll numbers would suggest an incoming landslide in favor of Trump. This is of course because women have only had the right to vote for less than a century, and what a century it’s been for women. They’ve catapulted from receiving equal citizenship in 1920 to playing a huge role in the election of 2016.

Since the 1980’s, women have been more likely to vote than men. Given that the gender gap seems to be about even for both candidates, Clinton will have the advantage come election day if women continue to outvote men. Clinton’s GOTV (Get Out The Vote) team should definitely focus on motivating women to the polls tomorrow, as women will play a substantial role in getting the Democratic nominee to 270 electoral votes.

Just 96  years ago, the idea of women voting was being fiercely debated in Congress. And now, in less than 24 hours, women will play an absolutely critical role in deciding the fate of America’s future. If the polling has been accurate, they will likely be helping the first women in United States history win the presidency. Truly, women have come a long, long way in this country.

What’s Important NOW?

Tomorrow’s election is very critical because voters will be turning up to the polls and casting their votes on this election. WHO WILL COME OUT ON TOP?! Voters will be coming to the polls with many issues flowing through their minds before inking or electronically finalizing their votes to be processed. The voters will be coming to the polls with an idea in mind but many will not have made up their mind until just before casting their ballot, and the sad reality is that many will not even make it to the polls on what could be the biggest election ever for this country. Many will be heading to the polls with individual reasons as to who they cast their ballot for, for instance pro-life vs. pro-choice, foreign affairs, security, or economy. However, for many minorities it will be a huge day for the future of their livelihood in the United States. Obviously, because of the very opposing views that Clinton and Trump have on immigration make it a very pivotal piece of tomorrow’s vote.


Trump has really hurt himself when it comes to the immigrant vote with his comments on the national stage, however Clinton is known for being more of the open arms type when it comes to immigration. On one end of the spectrum you have someone who wants to build a wall and get rid of all immigrants without proper documentation. On the other end you have a woman who is more caring, sympathetic, and loving when it comes to people. For Clinton, it is bigger than documentation, Clinton sees people for who they are and would be more prone to take them under her wing, which illuminates an emotional response from the minority population. This is a way that Clinton continuously builds on her pathos and gains the upper hand on Trump and the minority vote. People see that Clinton is very open and willing to work with minorities/immigrants and these people are hurting and they find Clinton as the more appealing nominee.


In North Dakota there is a havoc being stirred up because of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline which could possibly end up destroying sacred places, and pose a huge ecological risk which could potentially poison a numerous amount of water supply. At the end of the day Clinton has yet to take a stance on this trending topic and by not taking it stance it is hurting her vote with the indigenous people of America. There is a number of Americans in this country that have indigenous backgrounds who could possibly feel oppressed as well as not defended by Clinton choosing to take the stance of  “silence”. When it comes down to it I can side with Hillary not wanting to speak out on how she feels about the situation because of the October surprises as well as the reopening of her investigation by the FBI. Clinton is not in a good spot to take a stance with everything going on around her. However, I do believe that which ever candidate comes out on this situation in the next couple of days could gain the indigenous vote through taking the most appealing stance. It is just a matter of which candidate will take the opportunity and run with it.



I believe Hillary needs to come out and use an emotional appeal (PATHOS), so she can solidify herself not only on caring for the people involved in this situation but also to solidify the indigenous vote. The people being affected by this are very worried for their health and what is going to happen in the process of the construction. Clinton needs to come out with a plan of action and what route will be most valuable to the benefit of the people affected. Everyone involved will be at ease when a plan of action comes out that will be appealing to the people. If Clinton does come out before Trump on this situation it will benefit her tremendously by increasing her ethos and painting her as the image of being a capable future Commander-in-Chief. However, if it is not appealing to them it could crash and burn and essentially lose the vote of the indigenous people because they will feel racially oppressed against. This is a pivotal situation that needs to benefitted by one of the candidates it is just a matter of which one will take it and run with it!


Head Down Through The Finish Line

In an appearance this past Sunday at a Baptist Church in North Carolina, Clinton spoke amongst a predominately black audience. Clinton was surrounded by five black women who have lost their children to gun violence or altercations with police. Clinton has made it a priority of hers’ to address predominately black audiences throughout the rest of her campaign down the home stretch. In this appearance Sunday, she jokingly said “love thy neighbor as you love thy self” and went on to mention that it can be hard in the background of politics. This was a subliminal shot at Trump, which was very successful at her appearance after you could hear the crowd begin to engage and laugh. Clinton further went on to take shots at Trump during conversation about systematic racism, she said “my opponent has been involved with that and much more.” Lastly, Clinton concludes with “I have stood next to him for four and half hours through all three debates, to just further prove that I have the stamina.”

In this last appearance we see that Clinton is very interested in gaining the black vote, and made it her priority moving forward. Once again, Clinton is using “intend to gain an audience” being the black voters which is a pivotal point in winning this election. I found that Clinton did a fairly good job of putting herself way above Trump at this rally through reading the transcript. Clinton was able to successfully take shots at Trump, through the rhetoric she used she was able to make it subliminal and not to controversial. However my favorite quote is when she stated she has the stamina. Clinton used the “stamina” claim to take another shot at Trump, thus trying to prove through the fact that she was able to stand next to him for hours at a time that she was in good health. Overall thought this was a beneficial outing for Clinton, and only gave her more momentum for the black vote.

Third Presidential Debate: Use of Storytelling, Emotions, and Framing with The 2ndAmendment

On Wednesday October 20 in Las Vegas Nevada, the third presidential debate of 2016 took place. The past two time Hillary and Donald, heated arguments dominated the conversations. This time was no different.

Moderator, Chris Wallace, started the candidates on some controversial topics, such as The Supreme Court and The Constitution.

Clinton had the stage first, saying she wants a supreme court that will stand up for women’s rights and the LBGT community, and stand against Citizen’s United.

Next, Trump took an opportunity to pivot away from matters, such as women’s rights, that make him look unpresidential, to talk about the 2nd Amendment.

“We need a Supreme Court that in my opinion is going to uphold the second amendment and all amendments, but the second amendment which is under absolute siege.”

This began the conversation (which was surprisingly tame).

Clinton rebutted saying,

“I understand and respect the tradition of gun ownership that goes back to the founding of our country, but I also believe that there can be and must be reasonable regulation.”

Each candidate made their stance, but how did they do it?

Clinton talked about gun control through storytelling and appealed to the emotions of her audience. Similar to the My Mom political ad on gun violence. She began her statement by saying, “I lived in Arkansas for 18 wonderful years.” This is very typical of a fairytale which often begins with A long time ago in a land far far away.

She also appeals to emotions later after Wallace mentions the Heller Decision. She says, “Well, I was upset because unfortunately, dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people with guns because unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions.” Here Clinton identifies her anger that will resonate with others who felt upset about the court’s decision. She then allows for others to understand her emotion with the information on toddlers.

What do you think? How do you think that Trump’s argument stood up to Clinton’s?

Click here to see a full transcript of the debate.

Click here to watch the debate.

Clinton’s “Fast Finish” Social Media push; will it Garner more Millennial Support?


“Trust your heart, because if we work together, we can make this country what we know it will and should be.” These are the words from Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton after a recent rally at Wayne State University. She was speaking on behalf of her understanding that many millennials still remained tentative towards giving Hillary their full endorsement.




*(Let’s hope Clinton’s new social media campaign resonates more positively than the infamous ” 3 emojis or less” Tweet)* 


Ramping up Political Activity:

Clinton’s political team recently launched a massive social media campaign to the tune of 30 million dollars, which will reach numerous pivotal social media platforms:

  • Twitter, Pandora and Spotify: Digital advertisements
  • POPSUGAR: Clinton will be sending out guest columns on site popular site designated for women ages 18-34.
  • Facebook: A shrewd move by Clinton’s staff has created multiple “Facebook live streams.”
    • The “Live” feature enables an interactional dialogue with young undecided voters, as opposed to transactional, prerecorded statements.
  • A quick policy update: Hillary has become more vocal on issues regarding college debt, criminal justice and climate change. She also is holding Q and A’s in areas that are less formal and more likely to draw in young voters:
    • Shoe stores, nail salons and barber shops


Clinton holds with millennials, but lower than in previous years:

Clinton wields a controlling lead among millennials, who are predominately left-leaning during this campaign season. A recent poll, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, has Clinton establishing a 51-31 percent advantage, with 20 percent being undecided. While comforting, Clinton still does not seem to garner numbers as large as President Barack Obama, who held 55 and 56 percent controls during the 2008 and 2012 elections, respectively.

Final thoughts/conclusions:

While not always perfect, Clinton’s late push to enhance her social media and visible credibility among millennials seems to be spawning positive dividends. Donald Trump’s refusal to actively reach out to millennials could also lead to higher support for Clinton. Trump’s effect as a “polarizing” T.V. personality could be one reason for his lack of young over focus, for myriads of young people have watched/ are familiar with the show “The Apprentice.” Whatever the case may be, it is becoming more and more evident that Hillary, while begrudgingly, could be millennials primary choice.

Political Campaign Advertisements: Framing of Hillary Clinton in regards to Gun Control

Although the 2016 presidential campaign differs from traditional campaigns, one thing remains constant, the effect political ads have on voter decisions.

Just like artists frame their pieces, campaigns aim to frame candidates. Rhetorical framing happens when an object, situation, or person has been described in a way that leads the audience to believe a certain way. In this campaign, Trump frames Clinton as untrustworthy, hypocritical, untransformative, and weak. While she tries to frame herself as nurturing, knowledgeable, relatable, and strong.

Nurturing, Protective Mother

Hillary Clinton informs her audience of her stance through the use of positive, story-telling ads. In one ad title My Mom, the daughter of a victim of the Sandy Hook Shooting describes the loss of her mother, the principle of the school. It starts with wedding pictures and the daughter telling the story of planning her wedding with her mother. Scenes of ambulance lights and a news article covering the shooting appear on screen. Next the daughter says,

“No one is fighting harder to reform our gun laws than Hillary Clinton”

The narration continues with the daughter stating that Clinton “reminds me of my mother”.

In this ad, Clinton uses testimonial to reach her target audience of younger, college educated women. Hillary frames herself as a loving caring motherly figure. This ad extols Hillary virtues through the use of narrative and story-telling.

Hypocrite Hillary

While Clinton frames herself as protective and nurturing in her gun control political ads, Trump attacks her practices during his speeches.


Because harsh backlash happened after Trump’s comment, “2nd Amendment people” should “take care” of Hillary, the NRA, The National Rifle Association, decided that they should intervene and distribute an attack ad instead of doing something more extreme (which could have been implied with Trump’s controversial quote).

In this particular ad, the NRA focuses on framing Hillary as a “hypocrite”. The ad starts with black SUVs escorted by police vehicles pulling up to a private jet. Hillary steps out of the SUV and armed guard walk her to the plane. The ad says that Hillary “tours on private jets protected by guards for thirty years, but she doesn’t believe in your right to keep a gun at home for self defense”. Because Trump did not attach his approval, this ad has the ability to attack Clinton as hard as it wants. PACs do not abide by the same rules as candidates. In fact, most attack ads which occur during a normal political campaign are paid for and distributed by PACs.

What does framing mean for the election?

With citizens already heading to the polls for early voting to elect the next president, it is important to understand how framing effects their decisions. For those who watch NRA’s ad, they could see Hillary as a hypocrite or untrustworthy. For those who watched the My Mom ad, they could see Hillary as someone who will nurture The United States of America back to health after the gun violence occurring across the country.