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Norbert Sparrow

September 12, 2016

3 Min Read
Trump trounces Clinton in PlasticsToday poll

As I write this on September 12, the latest CNN poll has Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a “near-even race” for the presidency of the United States. At PlasticsToday, we did our own online survey but asked our audience to rank the candidates on a single issue: Who would be best for U.S. manufacturing. Setting aside missing emails, the bromance with Vladimir Putin, trustworthiness and temperament, and sundry other issues, we asked the PlasticsToday audience to respond to a specific question:

Disregarding all other qualities and flaws of the presidential candidates, who do you think would best represent the interests of the plastics industry and manufacturing overall?

As of today, the poll had Trump holding a resounding lead at 52%, with Clinton trailing far behind at 28%. The Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson garnered 15% of support while Jill Stein of the Green Party brought up the rear at 5%. A total of 383 votes were cast at the time of writing.

I can’t say I’m surprised by the results. Trump famously wants to make America great again, and part of that renaissance seemingly would be powered by bringing back manufacturing jobs that have been outsourced, renegotiating or rejecting international trade deals and reforming the tax code. Although Trump has been frequently critiqued on providing little substance to back up his proposals, on this point his website actually is quite specific. Also, coming from the business world, Trump can claim to have an understanding of how the economy works in the real world, and how to fix it.

Clinton, also, has a very detailed plan of what she would do to jump start the economy, and in some cases—trade deals and infrastructure spending, to name two examples—finds common ground with her rival. But she also favors expanding entitlements, such as a federal guarantee of up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave under certain conditions, and increasing the minimum wage. Whatever their societal merits, proposals such as this have a tremendous impact on business owners, large and small.

True to the libertarian credo, Johnson wants to “get rid of unnecessary laws and taxes that siphon the resources businesses use to create the jobs we need,” he writes on his website. That’s a message that would resonate more strongly with manufacturers if he weren’t a third-party candidate with no chance of being elected president. It’s also worth noting that if our poll were scientific and nationally recognized—which it is not—a 15% standing would give Johnson a shot at participating in the presidential debates.

Of course, very few voters cast their ballot based on a single issue, and the results of this survey carry that caveat. Most of us will weigh economic, social, geopolitical and a host of other considerations, not to mention the character and temperament of the candidates, in making our decision.

With that said, on November 8, barring a repeat of the 2000 fiasco, we will know who will lead our country in 2017. Our long national nightmare, as the 2016 campaign has been called, will come to an end. Regardless of the outcome, however, for a substantial segment of the electorate, a new four-year nightmare will have just begun.

We will keep the poll up on our website one more week. If you have not done so already, tell us who you think would be the best president to advance the interests of the plastics industry.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

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