Why Kenyans in US want Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump
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.
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.
POISED TO SWEEP
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.
BIG MAN SYNDROME
“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.