Why Kenyans in US want Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump

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Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton acknowledges supporters after speaking a rally at the Cleveland Public Auditorium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Most Kenyans in the US are backing her candidacy. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | AFP

The majority of Kenyan-American voters interviewed by the Sunday Nation say they will vote for Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton to be the 45 President of the United States of America.

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Mrs Clinton will on Tuesday face off with the Republic party candidate, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, in what has been termed one of the most divisive polls in American history.

But, although most of the Kenyan-American voters support Mrs Clinton to succeed President Barack Obama, they held deep reservations about her suitability for the job.

“There are no ideal candidates this time round,” said Dan Okoth, who lives with his family in Germantown, Maryland.

“They are both bad really, but she is better than Trump,” he said.

On October 27, Mr Okoth took advantage of the early voting option and voted for Mrs Clinton.

“I have two young daughters and I must play my part in guaranteeing them a better future,” he said.


Most polls predict that Mrs Clinton is well poised to sweep the substantial minority vote comprising Asians, Latinos and blacks that propelled Obama to the presidency in the 2008 and 2012 contests.

This group has been pushed firmly into Mrs Clinton’s corner by Mr Trump’s fiery vitriol against them.

However, many analysts project a suppressed voter turnout for Mrs Clinton from the minority camp, especially among the black population.

Jamile Medina, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who works for a bank in New York, said she will make up her mind on Tuesday on whether or not to vote.

“In 2012, Obama made me cry when he spoke and those tears took me to the polling station. But this time I don’t feel anything. What choice is there between an outright racist (Trump) and a dishonest person (Clinton),” she said.

Mrs Clinton’s once seemingly unassailable lead has largely been wiped out following last week’s statement by Federal Bureau of Investigations director James Comey that the agency was investigating a new batch of emails sent by Mrs Clinton using a private server while she served as secretary of state under President Obama.


Political pundits blame Mrs Clinton for mishandling the original expose of the existence of the secret server by trying to avoid questions, which created the impression that she is unduly secretive.

Prior to Mr Comey’s statement, Mrs Clinton led Mr Trump by between three and seven percentage points in nationwide polls, including the battleground states of Florida and Ohio.

But after the release of the emails, her lead dipped and some pollsters polled Mr Trump ahead of Mrs Clinton nationwide, including Florida. Basically, according to the polls, the race is a statistical dead heat.

An in-depth analysis by The Economist on Friday of the early voting in the key swing states of Florida and North Carolina revealed that black turnout had declined.

“Fear of Trump is Clinton’s greatest asset among Black voters, but there are signs that aversion to him might not be enough,” said the magazine. This view is shared by Clinton Gachangi, a Kenyan living in Boston who said he is not voting.

“I am like a lot of millennials (a term used to describe people born between 1980 and 2000) torn between two terrible choices,” he said, explaining he will not be voting for anyone.


“In Trump, America has proved to be susceptible to the big man syndrome, following the straight-talking billionaire. He is wholly unqualified to lead and runs the risk of turning the country into a police state,” he said.

Yet despite this bleak assessment of Mr Trump, he said he will not cast his vote for his namesake, Mrs Clinton.

“She is too embedded in the system to make any substantial changes. She is completely out of touch and is entirely non-personable,” he said.

Perhaps sensing the lack of interest in the polls, especially by young people, President Obama has stepped up his call for Democrats to come out in large numbers on voting day to support Mrs Clinton to continue his legacy.

But Mr Gachangi, who says he voted for Obama in 2012, “though not wholeheartedly,” has taken issue with the president’s signature achievement – the passing into law in 2010 of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, popularly known as Obamacare

“If this is the legacy that Democrats want to continue, then that’s more the reason not to vote for Clinton. I do not believe in socialising Medicare. You saw the other day Obamacare premiums skyrocketing,” he said.


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1 Comment
  1. Peterson Githungo says

    Here is the problem with this piece. Any Kenyan who is not voting for Clinton simply because “…she is untrustworthy…” is outright disingenuous. What do you really find untrustworthy that taints her more than thirty years of public service, other than what the alter-right has been baking for you? Is it her fight for healthcare for millions of children or the good work the Clinton Foundation has been doing in Africa? Also, Obamacare was a hard fight in the congress in which the Republicans stripped the meat to the bone and Clinton has said she will improve it. Secondly, “socialized medicine” is hollow meaningless balderdash used by anti-Obama alter-right. Why would single-payer system be successful in Scandinavia, the Nordic region, Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand but not here in the States? Is it because the private sector are given a free hand in your deductions which in fact is a form of tax collected by and managed by profit-driven healthcare industry? Why is it that your plans can never cover your treatment even after paying through the nose from your pay stub? How successful has “privatized medicine” worked for the middle class in America? The excesses of Privatized medicine was in fact the reason for Obamacare. It is unfortunate for some of us Kenyans to lift off the pro-Trump talking points and voice them unquestioningly. Apparently, the reporter did not interview any pro-Hillary supporters. That is hard to swallow.

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