Election Blog

Live in the USA - November 4 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


10:55 A.M. in Washington, DC, 4:55 P.M. in Berlin

Is the Libertarian VP Stumping for Clinton?

Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, the vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket, is supposed to be running against Hillary Clinton.

But Mr. Weld had surprisingly kind words for Ms. Clinton in an interview with CNN. He said the Democratic candidate has received a “raw deal” from the FBI and her political opponents.

Though Mr. Weld criticized what he called the “two party monopoly,” he said there’s a difference between Donald Trump and Ms. Clinton.

“I do see a big difference between the two other candidates, Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton,” Mr. Weld said. “I think that Mr. Trump, with all deference, is totally unfit to be president of the United States.”

Mr. Weld is the running mate of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. The Libertarians are currently receiving up to 6 percent in several polls while Green Party candidate Jill Stein receives up to 2 percent.

Click here for our latest live blog.

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

Daily Summary: November 4


7:52 P.M. in Washington, DC, 12:52 A.M. in Berlin

Donald Trump’s Undeliverable Promises

A wall on the border with Mexico, a ban on Muslim immigration, and a withdrawal from NAFTA. Donald Trump has made a lot of radical promises. Would he actually be able to implement them?

Moises Naim, a former executive director of the World Bank and the author of the End of Power, believes Mr. Trump would face many constraints as president.

“Many of the things he said he wants to do are either not constitutional or can be challenged in courts or will be challenged in Congress,” Mr. Naim told

Handelsblatt’s U.S. Election Camp in Washington D.C. “We can expect a prolonged period of power clashes between the different segments of the state.

Mr. Trump also won’t be able to deliver on his protectionist and anti-trade rhetoric, Mr. Naim said.

“The fact of the matter is that most of the jobs that have been lost have not been lost to trade,” Mr. Naim said. “They’ve been lost to microchips and technology. And those jobs are gone. They didn’t go to emerging markets. They were displaced by technology.”


7:21 P.M. in Washington, DC, 12:21 A.M. in Berlin

How President Trump Would Kill Obamacare

If Donald Trump becomes president, he is expected to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health-care reform as quickly as possible, leaving it up to Americans to choose private insurance or not.

“If Trump becomes president I think you’ll see a push right away to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an alternative,” said Jeffrey Anderson, a health-care expert at the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based conservative-leaning think tank.

Mr. Anderson, who was a professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2001 to 2007, has already developed an alternative to Obamacare. They’ve acted as a basis for Republican plans to replace Mr. Obama’s health care reforms. Click here for the full story.


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

After the Election, a Period of Soul-Searching

It’s never too soon to look to the next story. With the 2016 election mercifully almost over, Kristin Roberts of Politico says the big story of 2017 will be an ongoing identity crisis in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Ms. Roberts, a Reuters veteran with a background in war and security reporting, currently heads up campaign coverage at the Washington-based news website. She told a team of journalists from Handelsblatt Global that while the Republican crisis might be more obvious, both parties will be interesting to watch.

No doubt the media and its role will also remain in the spotlight. Politico’s co-founder and chief editor John Harris, Ms. Roberts, and political reporter Steven Shepherd walked us through this extraordinary election campaign to date – from the challenges of safety to access for reporters and the crisis of modern journalism – during a visit to the media outlet’s offices in Virginia.

Of course, Politico’s coverage might have to change quite drastically if Donald Trump wins. Ms. Roberts notes that, given the Republican candidate’s rough-and-tumble relationship with the media, many of them could be denied access to the White House. That’s just fine with Ms. Thomas – she said the better stories come from outside the Washington bubble anyway.


5:54 P.M. in Washington, DC, 10:54 P.M. in Berlin

Clinton, Trump and a Forgotten Iraq

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spent much of this campaign trading accusations about who supported – or didn’t support – the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But when it comes to what they’ll do about Iraq’s future, both candidates have been remarkably silent.

“Iraqis really don’t know what to expect from either a Trump or a Clinton presidency. They don’t understand how the two possible administrations will differ from the Obama administration and how they will differ from each other,” Nussaibah Younis, an Iraq expert, said in a panel discussion hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington Friday.

That’s partly the fault of the current Obama administration, said Ms. Younis, who’s leading a taskforce on Iraq at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. President Barack Obama has hoped that an Iraqi-led military offensive against Islamic State in Iraq can be wrapped up before he leaves office in January. It’s left his successors “off the hook” when it comes to the country’s future, said Ms. Younis.

That’s a serious problem for Iraq, which remains extremely fragile, said Feisal Istrabadi, a former ambassador of Iraq at the United Nations, who spoke on the same panel.

Even if a current military offensive against Islamic State is successful, Mr. Istrabadi warned the U.S. will need to engage the political players in Iraq if it wants to ensure Islamic State – or a similar extremist group – can’t take root again in the future.


2:50 P.M. in Washington, DC, 7:50 P.M. in Berlin

The Trump Enigma, Explained in German Terms

For many European observers, the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee seems inexplicable. Henry Olsen, an expert on the Republican Party, broke down the enigmatic Trump phenomenon in terms more familiar to readers across the pond.

Unlike parties in Germany, candidates in the U.S. are nominated by voters through an open primary process. To put it in business terms, that means U.S. parties are open to hostile takeovers from the outside.

“What Donald Trump did is effectively mobilize disgruntled shareholders to launch a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, of the company,” Mr. Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute, told Handelsblatt during an event in Washington D.C.  “They won the shareholders meeting.”

And who are those voters? They’re similar to the people who are supporting the deeply conservative, populist and extreme right-wing parties in Germany, he said.

“What he did is mobilize the people who in Germany would be behind the CSU or the AfD or the smaller parties like the NPD and bring them into the Republican coalition,” Mr. Olsen said.

The CSU is the arch-conservative Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The Alternative for Germany or AfD is the upstart populist movement that is deeply opposed to Ms. Merkel’s refugee policies. The NPD has been accused of having neo-Nazi sympathies.


4:17 P.M. in Berlin, 11:17 A.M. in Washington, DC

We asked Washingtonians: Should America take in more refugees?


4:05 P.M. in Berlin, 11:05 A.M. in Washington, DC

The Dirtiest Presidential Campaign in U.S. History

The election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will go down as the most repulsive in recent U.S. history, writes Miriam Meckel, editor in chief of WirtschaftsWoche, a sister publication of Handelsblatt, in an op-ed.

The first victim of this election is democracy, Ms. Meckel argues. The ever-renewed suspicion against Hillary Clinton as a politician who does not respect the law has destroyed much trust.

The same applies to Donald Trump, Ms. Meckel writes. If a candidate for the highest office in the world’s oldest democracy precautionally announces to refute the election result if he loses and wants to put his opponent in prison, he is abusing the possibilities of a democracy. The election is not “rigged”, as Mr. Trump repeatedly claims, but the political system of a now deeply torn country.

3:30 P.M. in Berlin, 10:30 A.M. in Washington, DC

U.S. Intelligence Warns of Possible Terror Attacks on Monday

A potential threat has reportedly emerged in the form of a possible Al-Qaeda plot to target New York, Texas and Virginia. CBS News reported it had learned of a potential threat that could be timed for November 7, the day before the election.

A senior FBI official told CBS News, “The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States. The FBI, working with our federal, state and local counterparts, shares and assesses intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety.”

12:30 P.M. in Berlin, 7:30 A.M. in Washington, DC

Handelsblatt Morning Briefing Global Edition

President Barack Obama is working the crowds in vital swing states, like a rock star giving an encore, and Washington insiders are telling us that once the election fog has lifted, there will be be a free-trade agreement with Europe. Read Gabor Steingart’s Morning Briefing here:

11:00 A.M. in Berlin, 6:00 A.M. in Washington, DC

Bloomberg: Trump is crushing Clinton in the betting markets

Ireland’s largest bookmaker revealed numbers yesterday: Donald Trump has outshone Hillary Clinton in both numbers and volume of wagers. Just shy of €100,000 ($111,000) in bets came in, with 91 percent of them for Trump, reports Bloomberg.

9:00 A.M. in Berlin, 4:00 A.M. in Washington, DC

Preparing for Trump

The German government is scrambling to build a new kind of relationship with the United States if Donald Trump gets elected president, but many still have no real idea of what that will be.

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

Daily Summary: November 3. Click here for more of our November 3 blog

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.



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