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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

Clinton Emails: The FBI apparently found 15’000 new emails

In a presidential election campaign, voters usually take repeated looks at the main candidates. The FBI has apparently found about 15’000 emails sent by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her private server. How will this affect the election? Of course, it depends a great deal on the content of those emails. Generally speaking, I think that swing voters don’t care that much about what server Clinton used back at the time when she served as Secretary of State. Also, if there is nothing outrageously scandalous in these new emails, timing might work in her favor. I have seen this happening in many campaigns myself: the closer to the election new information becomes public, the more voters see and evaluate it through the prism of the election campaign. “Why only now? If there were something to it, it would have become public earlier”, respondents typically say in such situations in focus groups.

Crisis Communication: Lesson 2

Many crises happen to smart and successful people. In many cases, the accused person gets into defense mode and instinctively denies the accusation. While this is a natural reaction, it often makes things worse.

The Current Dynamics of the U.S. Presidential Campaign: Referendum on Donald Trump

Do you want to know why Hillary Clinton has gained ground in the surveys during the past weeks? Because the dynamics of the public debate have turned into a referendum on Donald Trump. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have record-high negative ratings. As a result of this, whoever is the main focus of the debate will lose. If this will become a referendum on whether or not Donald Trump should be president of the USA, Hillary Clinton will win. Hence why she’s now ahead in the surveys. This could change, however, when a new Clinton scandal breaks or if her past controversies will become the focus of the campaign again.

Read more about this point here (in German): www.schweizamsonntag.ch/USWahlkampf