US Presidential election is 'battle of the sexes', says Portsmouth lecturer

It is now less than a month until Americans go to the polls to decide their next president.

Monday, 10th October 2016, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:47 pm
File photos of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as Trump claimed Clinton should be in jail and accused former US president Bill Clinton of being "abusive to women" in a tense second presidential debate. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 10, 2016. The Republican candidate met women who have accused Mr Clinton of rape and other unwanted sexual advances shortly before the debate and claimed Mrs Clinton should be "ashamed" for attacking her husband's accusers. See PA story POLITICS Presidential. Photo credit should read: PA Wire POLITICS_Presidential_085273.JPG

For months battle has raged between two opposing candidates, the businessman-turned-political supremo Donald Trump and former First Lady Hilary Clinton.

And according to an American Studies lecturer at Portsmouth University, this election could prove a “game changer” for US politics.

Lee Sartain, who has been at the university for nine years, said: ‘It’s been a bewildering election.

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‘I’ve never seen one like this before and I have been involved with them since the 1980s.’

Despite confessing to be a supporter of the woman who could be the USA’s first female president, Lee said both candidates have not always been trusted by the electorate.

He said: ‘It’s like a battle of the sexes, even in the debates more women were in Hilary Clinton’s side and more men were on Trump’s side.

‘Hilary has been around for 25 or 30 years now and she was not a very typical first lady.

‘There has been a lot of negativity towards her, that she’s a not a great campaigner and isn’t charismatic.

‘But she is persistent and does not make too many mistakes.

‘It would be huge to have a female president. Having the first black president was massive as well.

‘I think this election has been a game changer. Hilary is the first woman to lead a major party like this.’

Although the polls have been neck and neck throughout the campaign, across the pond here much of the media coverage has been focused on Trump.

Last week video footage emerged of him boasting about being able to grope and kiss women.

The scandal was mentioned on Sunday’s night second presidential debate, with Trump denying ever sexually assaulting women.

Trump has also courted controversy by promising to ban Muslims from entering the USA, and to build a wall across the US-Mexican border to control immigration.

Lee said: ‘Towards Hilary the debate has been quite stable, she has been reasonably consistent. Some people think she is hiding the truth, but in Europe we have been fairly reasonable.

‘We understand Hilary, whereas Trump is a destructive force. He’s a cowboy-like figure who brings chaos with him.

‘It’s a bit like a referendum. You have two candidates who are two of the disliked people in the country.

‘Trump is absolutely staggering.

‘He says he wants to build a wall along the Mexico border but who is going to build it? Do people really believe it?’

Leading Republican figures including Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have already said they will not be supporting Trump.

Lee added: ‘It’s been like a bit of a hostile takeover of the Republicans, he doesn’t share many of their views.

‘The campaign is over so Trump cannot improve much on it. We already know everything about him.

‘People forgive him because they think he will bring change, but he doesn’t say what he will do.’

The election will take place on November 8.