We Asked Young Irish Expats How They’re Voting In Next Week’s US Presidential Election

'Part of me is nervous there'll be a twist ending to this election.'

  Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 16.33.15

A massive 120 million Americans are expected to cast their vote in the US Presidential election on November 8th, and the mark they make on the ballot paper will affect billions more people the world over.

Unlike Ireland and most of Europe, the US Presidential election is a long running process that involves months of nominations, candidate selections and campaigning.

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 16.36.56

Source: Getty


While there are technically four candidates on the ballot – Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are in the running too – this election has mainly focused on the Republic and Democrat candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Their opposing views and strongly divided supporters have made this one of the most hotly contested campaigns US politics has ever seen.

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 16.27.38

Source: Instagram

The latest overall poll results show Hillary with a marginal lead, but the real result will come next week after the polls close.

We asked two young Irish expats what the atmosphere is like Stateside in the run-up to polling day, how they plan on voting, who they’re supporting and how confident – or indeed, terrified – they feel about the results.

Lyndsay, 29, New York

Lyndsay left Ireland in 2009 and has been living and working in New York as a journalist and editor for the past seven years. She’s eligible to vote in next week’s Presidential election and plans on doing so.
Who are you supporting in the run for President?
Hillary Clinton, but it took me a while to warm up to her. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the New York primary and I’m happy that he managed to pull Hillary’s campaign a little further left than it started out.

What are your feelings on Hillary’s potential to win?

I do think she will win but it’s hard not to feel nervous. She’s undoubtedly the most qualified candidate for the job and Trump is a walking, talking Saturday Night Live sketch. But America is so deeply divided right now. The fact that Trump even made it this far says a lot. Living in New York City, I rarely see or hear anyone touting Trump, but I know he has a lot of supporters in other parts of the country, and that’s scary.
Among your friends and family in the US, what’s been the general view on Trump’s run so far?
None of us can believe Trump is still in the race. Every time he says or tweets something outrageous, my Facebook newsfeed blows up. He’s an ignorant, egotistical man and his campaign is built on racism and sexism. If people think things are bad now, I shudder to think how bad they could be if he’s elected.

Susan, 30, Washington, D.C.

As a dual Irish-US citizen, PR professional Susan is eligible to vote in the upcoming election, and has already cast her ballot through the early voting process.
Who are you supporting in the run for President? 
I voted for Hillary Clinton and have been a supporter of hers for a long time. I lived in New York while she was serving as Senator and have always respected her hard work on policies to improve the lives of women and children in the US and around the world as First Lady and Secretary of State. She is, by far, the most qualified candidate for the job and I believe that she has the best interests of American families at heart. She also has a level of international experience we rarely see in a Presidential candidate. Her global world view and relationships with various world leaders will serve the US well.
What would you say to those not in favour of a Clinton win?
Polls have shown that some voters don’t trust Hillary Clinton, or think she is dishonest. To this, I say, take a look at the issues she has fought passionately for when she was starting out in politics as a college student. They are the same issues she still fights for today. That says trustworthy leader to me.

How confident are you in Hillary’s potential to win?
Thankfully, polls show Mrs. Clinton with a slight lead right now, following three excellent debate performances against Donald Trump. However, this election cycle is unlike any other we’ve ever seen, so part of me is still a little nervous that there will be a twist ending. It’s really important that people turn up to vote or a Clinton victory could be in jeopardy.

Among your friends and family in the US, what’s been the general view on Trump’s run so far? 
Most of my friends and family are based in New York or Washington D.C., both of which tend to lean Democrat, so Trump’s run has really been met with a mix of disbelief and dismay. I can remember talking to colleagues about his campaign over a year ago and we were totally sure he would never even get the nomination.
Republicans that I’m friends with are in a really tough spot because this candidate doesn’t really represent their party views, yet they’re inherently against the things that Hillary Clinton stands for. It has left a lot more undecided voters than I can remember in the past.
What’s your own view of Trump’s candidacy?
I’ve been closely watching US elections for years and a candidate like Trump is really unprecedented. He constantly plays on people’s extreme fears and xenophobia. US voters that watched what happened with the Brexit vote are worried that the same right leaning sentiment may result in a Trump Presidency here.

Have your say

More like this