DSU faculty, students say Trump, Clinton gained nomination due to certain characteristics

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A Dixie State University faculty member said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton didn’t become presidential nominees because they were likable. 

In fact  both candidates have a greater negative rating than they do a positive rating, said Associate history professor Joe Green.

A poll done by ABC News and the Washington Post showed Clinton with a 59 percent of negative  favorability and Trump with a 60 percent.

“Both of these candidates are tremendously flawed, and I think people on both sides of the aisle can respect that,” said Henrie Walton, DSU’s community, state, and federal relations officer.

Walton said anger and frustration is what has led Trump to win the Republican nomination and Clinton’s dominance on the Democratic side gave her a shoe-in.

Why Trump ?

Walton said the Republican party has controlled the House of Representatives, and Republican party supporters are asking why hasn’t anything been done like cutting taxes or balancing the budget.  A lot of support for Trump comes from Americans who are fed up with the government system, he said.

“[Trump supporters] realize Donald isn’t perfect and has flaws, but [they] are willing to try anything different and Donald Trump is what is different,” he said.

Green said a big issue for people right now is not having enough jobs. Most of those missing jobs were in the manufacturing industry.

“Technology has replaced those jobs and positions,” Green said. “So [people] find themselves taking either minimum wage, near minimum wage or two jobs, and they are upset.”

The U.S. is still a leading world manufacturer, but people are open to blaming the lack of jobs on immigrant labor and trade, Green said.

Walton said Trump is brash, arrogant, outspoken and unorthodox, but those characteristics have been his strengths and weaknesses in this presidential race.

“We have seen Trump say things and do things that would have destroyed any other candidate in another election cycle, but Trump’s numbers continue to grow,” he said. “[Trump supporters] aren’t worried about whether it is an orthodox path or a traditional path—they just want something different.”

Garrett Gordon, a senior business administration major from Moab, said Trump was a well-known public figure before his run in the presidential race, so his popularity along with not being a politician has created support for Trump. 

“People are sick of politicians in general and they are ready for something different,” Gordon said. “[Trump] represents what is different.”

 Why Clinton ?

Clinton’s campaign fed off a lot of inertia and her experience in the government, Walton said.

“I think a lot of Democratic candidates that could have been viable candidates stayed out of the race because they kind of assumed Hillary had a lock on the election,” he said.  

Green said she got the nomination because it was her turn after President Barack Obama beat her before.

“She had too many votes [in the primaries] for (Sen. Bernie) Sanders to catch up,” Green said.

Clinton has about 30 years experience and has been trying to further her agenda since, Walton said.

“Whether she has made the changes she believes in is up for debate,” Walton said.

 Gordon said Clinton’s popular figure also helped her gain support, but she is still a politician. 

“Hillary’s experience makes it valuable to those who want a candidate that has been in politics for a long time, but if people are ready to change and not want a politician, than they are willing to go against Hillary,” Gordon said.


Walton said both candidates are going to have a difficult time doing what they say they want to do as president.

Trump’s ideas are radical and going to be difficult to pass under any congress, and Republicans will do what they can to block Clinton’s agenda, he said.  

“Unfortunately, in all likelihood, we are going to see four more years of gridlock in [District of Columbia]” Walton said.  

Gordon said he doesn’t like Clinton or Trump and thinks he will keep his integrity and vote for presidential candidate Evan McMullin, a candidate who he said he can actually support. 

“Even though my vote won’t make a huge difference, I still can’t bring myself to vote for somebody I can’t trust or support,” Gordon said.

Maria Savoca, a sophomore pre-physical therapy assistant major from Rainier, Washington, said this election is really a vote between the lesser of two evils and hopes whoever takes office can be able to put aside their political ideology.  

“I think if people were able to step outside of that mindset of ‘I am this’ and ‘I am that,’ they might see that maybe they want things that are more common than they really believe,” Savoca said. “I would like to see a president who takes office (to be) someone [who] is trying to unite the things that are common to people.”