Election Blog

Live in the USA - November 3 Edition

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The 2016 U.S. presidential elections show a radically divided country. Whoever wins will have a chance to recast domestic policy and foreign relations.

  • Facts


    • Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton faces off against Republican Donald Trump in the 2016. U.S. presidential election set for November 8.
    • To win the election, a candidate will have to win 270 electoral college votes, based on the results across 50 U.S. states.
    • Opinion polls show the gap has narrowed between the two candidates in the final days, though Hillary Clinton maintains a lead over her opponent.
  • Audio


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11:40 P.M. in Washington, DC, 4:40 A.M. in Berlin

Daily Summary: November 3

Check out our daily summary of the ups and downs of our coverage of the U.S. election campaign, and check back in a few hours for more from our correspondents in Berlin and around the world.



7:22 P.M. in Washington, DC, 0:22 A.M. in Berlin

German Ambassador: U.S. Resistance to Trans-Atlantic Trade Will Grow

The populism and anti-trade sentiment of the U.S. presidential campaign will also ultimately target the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the German ambassador to the United States told Handelsblatt.

“This has not been in the firing line so far,” Peter Wittig said during an event at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. “However, we will have to expect growing resistance in the U.S. from the new administration but also from the grassroots.”

Mr. Wittig said there are growing fault lines in the trans-Atlantic alliance over attitudes toward regulation, innovation and new technology. European companies are troubled by the “impenetrable and unpredictable norms and their enforcement” in the United States.  

“They are unnerved by the excessive penalties imposed by American regulators and enforcement bodies,” Mr. Wittig said. “European banks find the regulatory framework confusing to say the least. The fine against Deutsche Bank is just one example.”

7:10 P.M. in Washington, DC, 0:10 A.M. in Berlin

TTIP Before TPP?

Global trade has taken a serious hit in this U.S. election. Donald Trump has made “bad trade deals” a centerpiece of his campaign, and even Hillary Clinton has opposed new pending deals such as the Asia-Pacific agreement, TPP, brokered by President Barack Obama.

Fred Bergsten, head of the Washington-based Peterson Institute, thinks he has a solution: Bring forward free-trade talks with the European Union, known as TTIP, instead.

“I would suggest moving it ahead of the queue,” he said at an event hosted by Handelsblatt at the German embassy in Washington DC.

His reasoning: The closer ties and culture with Europe mean it may be more palatable politically than a deal with Asia. Concerns about poor labor and wage standards in Asia, for example, are not a problem the United States has with Europe.

Ironically, those are exactly the concerns that much of the European public has when it comes to a trade deal with the United States. That could mean that Mr. Bergsten’s proposal may falter on the European side, not the U.S. one.

“I don’t know how you want to get [TTIP] through in Germany,” said Sandra Navidi, CEO of Beyond Global, referring to the widespread public disaffection to TTIP in Europe’s largest economy.

6:20 P.M. in Washington, DC, 11:20 P.M. in Berlin

German ambassador Peter Wittig discusses the fault lines in the trans-Atlantic alliance.

4:26 P.M. in Washington, DC, 9:26 P.M. in Berlin

We asked Washingtonians to read actual quotes from Donald Trump


3:53 P.M. in Washington, DC, 8:53 P.M. in Berlin

Guardian: FBI is Trump Land

Large swaths of the FBI are hostile to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the U.S. edition of Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.

The FBI has been thrust into the middle of the presidential election after its director, James Comey, announced that the bureau had found more emails relevant to an investigation into Ms. Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state.

Ms. Clinton’s supporters have accused Mr. Comey, a Republican, of trying to tip the scales of the election. FBI agents, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian that many in the bureau have a negative view of Ms. Clinton.

“The FBI is Trump land,” one current agent told the Guardian.


3:36 P.M. in Washington, DC, 8:36 P.M. in Berlin

FDIC Deputy Sees Heightened Financial Risks

The global financial sector remains fragile due to the current low interest rate environment and banks’ relatively low capital cushions, the vice chairman of the U.S. deposit insurance agency, FDIC, warned in a Handelsblatt interview Thursday.

“I think that the very low interest rates have created what I call an unstable equilibrium around zero and around quantitative easing,” said Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Record low interest rates in the United States and the euro zone have made it even more important for banks to leverage their assets to generate returns, said Mr. Hoenig, who was attending Handelsblatt’s U.S. Election Camp in Washington, D.C.

“A crisis is usually or primarily driven by leverage. The world is committed to leverage. It has not deleveraged that much, so we have a lot of fragility,” said Mr. Hoenig, who was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1991 to 2011.

The regulator said he was not surprised about recent turmoil surrounding Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, which is struggling to restructure itself and deal with potential billion-dollar fines in the United States. But he suggested the problem was a pan-European one.

“I don’t know if it’s just Deutsche Bank. The fact of the matter is the industry is marginally capitalized. When you have that environment, people are always alert to it, the market is very aware of it,” Mr. Hoenig said. “If you’re talking about the amount of leverage, they’ll look at that and say ‘Yeah, it is highly leveraged, therefore, it’s more susceptible, whichever bank it might be’.”


2:59 P.M. in Washington, DC, 7:59 P.M. in Berlin

The Myth of the Missing White Voter

Shortly after losing two elections to the first African-American president, the Republican National Committee published a report calling on the party to reach out to America’s increasingly diverse electorate.

Then came Donald Trump. The Republican nominee for 2016 has adopted a completely different strategy, mostly burning bridges with people of color and banking instead on a supposed silent white majority as the path to victory.

The idea is that Mr. Trump’s brash, populist rhetoric will drum up support among white voters who sat out the election in 2012. But several recent reports suggest that the missing white voter strategy relies more on a myth than a theory.

According to the “Upshot” blog from the New York Times, Mr. Trump does indeed beat Ms. Clinton among white voters who sat out 2012 by an 11-point margin. But that’s not enough to compensate for his deficit among a much larger group of missing voters – nonwhites. Ms. Clinton leads 61 percent to 20 percent among people of color who sat out 2012.

Democratic pollsters believe this proves Mr. Trump’s strategy relies more on a myth than a theory.

Another possibly overplayed concern could be that of the “shy Trump voter.” Seven in 10 Republican Party insiders believe that live-interview polls underreport support for Mr. Trump because voters are reluctant to admit they back him due to social stigma.

But the U.S. news website Politico found only a 2.6-percent difference in support for Mr. Trump in the results from live-interview polls, where voters are interviewed by another person, and online as well as automated telephone polls where there’s no interaction with another person.

12:53 P.M. in Washington, DC, 5:53 P.M. in Berlin

Global Views

Handelsblatt correspondents from around the world share how people in the countries where they are based think about the U.S. Election. Today we hear from Spain, Canada, China, Singapore, U.K. and Russia.

12:15 P.M. in Washington, DC, 5:15 P.M. in Berlin, 

NYT: Vets among Trump’s Most Reliable Supporters

Two Americans soldiers were killed after coming under fire in Afghanistan on Thursday. It’s a stark reminder that the United States remains a nation at war 15 years after the September 11 attacks.

More than 2 million veterans have served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan during that time, many enduring multiple tours of duty. Where do they stand on the contentious U.S. election?

According to a report by the New York Times, veterans are among Donald Trump’s most reliable supporters. Alienated by a political class that has gambled with their lives, many veterans identify with Mr. Trump’s criticism of U.S. foreign entanglements and his blunt dismissal of what he labels political correctness.

“When we jump into wars without having a real plan, things like Vietnam and things like Iraq and Afghanistan happen,” William Hansen, a former Marine who served two National Guard tours in Iraq, told the New York Times. “This is 16 years. This is longer than Vietnam.”

Many veterans support Mr. Trump despite his controversial attacks against two veterans. Over the summer, the reality television star attacked Republican Senator John McCain’s status as a war hero in U.S. society. Mr. McCain was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than 5 years.

In July, Mr. Trump attacked the mother of Humayun Khan, a Muslim U.S. soldier who died in Iraq. Mr. Khan’s father spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

11:40 A.M. in Washington, DC, 4:40 P.M. in Berlin,

Trump Gaining Ground

In less than a week, the United States will elect a new president — and the man who was long considered an outsider without a chance is catching up on the homestretch.

3:40 P.M. in Berlin, 10:40 A.M. in Washington, DC

“Mr. Dax” thinks Donald Trump will win

Financial expert Dirk Müller is also known as “Mr. Dax” in Germany. In an interview with Handelsblatt, the bestselling author says there will certainly be stock market turbulence surrounding the election, but this will only be short-lived.

While most believe Hillary Clinton will win the election, Müller believes the polls are incorrect – similarly to shortly before the Brexit vote. “I think Trump will win for different reasons. Many who are polled will not admit to going to vote for Trump,” he said.

2:40 P.M. in Berlin, 9:40 A.M. in Washington, DC

Investors Brace for Bumpy Markets

Doubts about Hillary Clinton’s ability to win a vast majority in the race for the White House have set investors on edge, since the FBI’s recent investigations into the Democratic presidential candidate’s latest email scandal. Stockholders are preparing for short-term fluctuations in the market after the election takes place on November 8.

2:01 P.M. in Berlin, 9:01 A.M. in Washington, DC

Trump’s Moment

These are dramatic hours for Hillary Clinton and her campaign team. The FBI probe is sapping her momentum. She’s losing a lot of African-American voters, and her support among the white working class is eroding as well.

12:01 P.M. in Berlin, 7:01 A.M. in Washington, DC

Picking Your Poison

How is it possible that with just six days left before the election, 11 to 15 percent of voters are still undecided? Handelsblatt’s coordinating editor of foreign affairs has the simple and sad answer to this perplexing question.

11:24 A.M. in Berlin, 6:24 A.M. in Washington DC

How Trump might have been premier of Bavaria

It’s a rather well-known fact that Donald Trump’s grandfather Frederick emigrated to the U.S. from the Kingdom of Bavaria in Germany. What we didn’t know is how urgently he wanted to return. Were it not for the government of Bavaria, Donald Trump’s family might still be living in Germany, genealogist Reinhard Hofer tells German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

German authorities had determined Frederick Trump only emigrated to the U.S. in order to avoid military service and punished this with the loss of citizenship. Mr. Hofer has found a letter Frederick Trump wrote to the German authorities in 1906. In it, Mr. Trump tries to reason with the authorities, arguing his German wife were homesick and not able to find her way in the new world. He also asserts that he never intended to avoid military service and “unfortunate financial circumstances” as well as wanting to support his mother in Germany had led him to emigrate.

But the authorities rejected his request in 1907 and Frederick Trump was not allowed to return.

10:28 A.M. in Berlin, 5:28 A.M. in Washington DC

Trump is catching up day by day

Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidency are currently at 32 percent, according to the analytic prediction-based website “FiveThirtyEight.” Clinton has a 68 percent chance to win the election, which is down from the 82 percent forecast on Friday morning before the FBI’s announcement that it is investigating a new round of emails on Ms. Clinton’s private server.

09:20 A.M. in Berlin, 4:20 A.M. in Washington DC

Bundestag vice president: Trump presidency would make U.S.-German relations more difficult

Edelgard Bulmahn, vice president of the Bundestag and deputy chairwoman of the U.S.-German network “Atlantik-Brücke”, told German broadcaster ARD this morning, a Trump presidency would cause relations between Germany and the U.S. to be more difficult. “International agreements do not seem to play a role for him,” Bulmahn said.

There is a lot of worry, she added, a Trump presidency would be unpredictable. The debates had shown he could not control his emotions very well.

11:07 P.M. in Washington, DC, 4:07 A.M. in Berlin

Daily Summary, November 2. Click here for more of our November 2 blog.

From our election camp in Washington, meet our reporters from all around the world, hear exclusive interviews with policymakers and experience the Washington election frenzy. Check out our daily summary video below, and check back for more from Berlin in a few hours.

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