Election Blog

Live in the USA - November 2 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


Click here for our ongoing live blog on the U.S. elections.

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

Daily Summary

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.

9:57 P.M. in Washington, DC, 2:57 A.M. in Berlin

Former Defense Minister on Europe’s Crisis

Former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on how a divided Europe is the real danger of our time:

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

Republicans Not for Trump – and for Germany

James K. Glassman, founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, says the United States should take a page out of Germany’s book when it comes to dealing with refugees.


9:25 P.M. in Washington, DC, 2:25 A.M. in Berlin

Bloomberg’s Megan Murphy on Trump, the markets & the media

It’s not Trump’s economic policy that people are upset about, it’s the uncertainty, said Megan Murphy, Bloomberg’s Washington bureau chief. 

In an interview spanning markets, policy and regulation, Ms. Murphy told Handelsblatt, “we’ve seen very bizarre movements in the wake of Brexit and I think that’s something people are watching for.” 

She commented, “As Hillary Clinton’s blue firewall seems to be eroding, what’s happening is hugely interesting.”


8:28 P.M. in Washington, DC, 1:28 A.M. in Berlin

Europe’s Sorry State

Germany’s former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg offered a dose of perspective in Washington on Wednesday: Despite the political rancor in the United States, Europe’s problems are bigger than this crazy 2016 election.

“It’s not only [about] the character of the next [U.S.] president. For me the greatest threat to trans-Atlantic security is a disunited Europe,” Mr. zu Guttenberg said at the start of an open discussion on the state of Europe at Handelsblatt’s Washington camp.

Mr. zu Guttenberg slammed the European Union as essentially rudderless, lacking in strong leaders and failing to learn the lessons of its many crises over the last few years.

Given that failed leadership, Europe risked becoming a “ping pong ball between interests of Washington, Moscow, Ankara” and even Beijing, he said.

“That’s my main fear, and at the moment I don’t see very much light at the end of the horizon,” he added.

Given such strong words, perhaps it’s no wonder the former defense minister, a once-rising political star who was forced to resign from government after a plagiarism scandal back in Germany, said he was perfectly happy living in the United States.

Mr. zu Guttenberg did however say there may be a point when he’ll return to Germany with his family.  “But I don’t expect to come back with a political role,” he said.


7:56 P.M. in Washington, DC, 0:56 A.M. in Berlin

The Transatlantic Security Partnership in turbulent times

We’re live with the former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, discussing trans-Atlantic relations, Europe’s crisis and Germany’s role on the global stage.

7:36 P.M. in Washington, DC, 12:36 A.M. in Berlin

Republicans for Clinton: Trump Triggers Political Realignment

An election victory by Donald Trump could permanently fracture the Republican Party and upend American politics, according to a former special assistant to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

“I think that would precipitate a realignment of the politics of our country,” Jim Cicconi told Handelsblatt during an event in Washington D.C. “There are too many Republicans that are very uncomfortable not only with Donald Trump but his views.”

Mr. Cicconi, who has broken with his party to back Hillary Clinton, said moderate Republicans may end up joining the Democrats.

“The question is whether or not Democrats would welcome them and moderate their policies in accordance with that,” said Mr. Cicconi, a former senior executive vice president at AT&T.

James Glassman, founding executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, said a populist and nativist faction within the party has become increasingly dominant since the Republicans lost the 2012 election.

“Instead of changing, the party became more extreme and one of its small elements, the populists, became ascendant,” Mr. Glassman, who has also broken with the party to back Ms. Clinton, told Handelsblatt. “I think the party left me and left a lot of people.”

Mr. Glassman, a former under secretary of state for public diplomacy, raised the prospect that disaffected moderate Republicans could form a third party: “There is room for a third party and almost a kind of yearning for a third party. I mean a serious party that’s pretty much in the middle.”

6:37 P.M. in Washington, DC, 11:37 P.M. in Berlin

Clinton Advisor: Momentum on Trump’s Side, But Clinton Victory Still Likely

The momentum may currently be swinging toward Republican Donald Trump, but Democrat Hillary Clinton is still likely to win the presidential election next week, an advisor of Ms. Clinton’s foreign policy team told Handelsblatt.

Speaking at Handelsblatt’s U.S. Election Camp in Washington, D.C., Damon Wilson said: “The reality is this race is tightening.  We see that in the national polls, which by themselves don’t mean much. But the momentum right now is on Donald Trump’s side.”

Mr. Wilson, a Democrat, is not part of Ms. Clinton’s election campaign, but he advises her foreign policy team and he is executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, a non-partisan policy think tank based in Washington. He stressed he was not speaking on behalf of any of the campaign teams.

A foreign policy expert who served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council from 2007 to 2009, Mr. Wilson said there were shades of Brexit in the current U.S. election cycle.

“There is a little bit of uncertainty right now. We’ve all been sobered by polls and as we watched Brexit and watched voting in Colombia on the peace deal,” Mr. Wilson, adding that a strong movement for change was being reflected on both sides of the Atlantic.


6:15 P.M. in Washington, DC, 11:15 P.M. in Berlin

Clinton for Impeachment?

It’s six days to the election, but some Republicans are already talking about the possibility of impeaching Hillary Clinton if she is elected president of the United States.

It’s yet another indication of just how polarized this election has become – remember Mr. Trump’s threat to put Ms. Clinton in jail if he wins – but also a sign of just how much mileage many in the Republican Party are hoping to get out of the FBI’s announcement last week that it is investigating a new round of emails on Ms. Clinton’s private server.

“This investigation will continue whether she wins or not,” Mike McCaul, a Republican lawmaker who leads the Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News, according to a report on the news website Politico. “But assuming she wins and the investigation comes forward and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point in time under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial.”

Whether Mr. McCaul gets his wish likely depends not only on the results of the FBI’s investigation but on whether Republicans manage to maintain control of Congress. Under the U.S. political system, it’s up to the House of Representatives to first vote to “impeach” a president, basically demanding their removal from office. The matter is then turned over to the U.S. Senate, which has to approve the request.

The last president to be impeached, of course, was Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband. The former president was impeached by the House in December 1998, but the move was rejected by the Senate.

Donald Trump and Mike McCaul, a Republican congressman who has raised the possibility of Hillary Clinton's impeachment. Source: AP

6:05 P.M. in Washington, DC, 11:05 P.M. in Berlin

“Over 90 % of The Japanese People Don’t Like Trump”

Japanese journalist Yoshio Hotta is covering his 7th U.S. election. Our East Asia correspondent Martin Koelling spoke with him about this year’s election and how it is observed in Japan. 


5:22 P.M. in Washington, DC, 10:22 P.M. in Berlin

“The Fate of the Republic Rests on Your Shoulders, North Carolina.”

With his legacy at stake, President Barack Obama didn’t pull any punches during a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, a swing state that could prove decisive to the election’s outcome.

“All the progress that we’ve made over the last eight years, all the progress that we hope to make over the next eight years, all of that goes out the window if we don’t win this election,” Mr. Obama said at a rally in Chapel Hill.

“I hate to put a little pressure on you, but the fate of the Republic rests on your shoulders,” he said. “The fate of the world is teetering and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure we push it in the right direction.”

The president raised a litany of Donald Trump’s controversial statements, from his calls to water board terrorist suspects and ban Muslim immigration, to his attacks against the war record of Republican Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war, and the mother of a Muslim U.S. soldier who died in Iraq.

“We can’t afford a president who suggests that America should torture people or that we should ban entire religions from our country,” Mr. Obama said. “We deserve better than a commander in chief who insults POWs or attacks a gold star moms or denigrates our troops.”


4:18 P.M. in Washington, DC, 9:18 P.M. in Berlin

Trump Has Mobilized a ‘Sea Change’ in U.S. Politics: Campaign CEO

Regardless of who wins the election, U.S. politics won’t go back to business as usual the morning after, said the chief executive of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Steve Bannon told the right-wing website Breitbart News that the reality television star has already successfully mobilized a sea change in U.S. politics. Mr. Bannon was the chairman of Breitbart Media before he was tapped to become the chief executive of the Trump campaign.

“What really amazes me still is how many pundits, and how many people that follow this day in and day out, don’t really understand the kind of historic nature of what’s going on, and how this has really been a sea change,” Mr. Bannon said.



Mr. Trump has tapped into the kind of populist, nationalist sentiment that was on display in the United Kingdom when it voted to leave the European Union in June, Mr. Bannon said.

“This whole movement has a certain global aspect to it,” Mr. Bannon said. “People want more control of their country and they’re very proud of their countries, they want borders, they want sovereignty.”

The rise of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate is only the latest battle in a civil war between the party’s populist base and its establishment, Mr. Bannon said.

“I read some of these articles about this big civil war that’s coming in the Republican Party, and it’s pretty stunning to me people haven’t seen this. It’s been at this now for what, six years, really since 2010 with the Tea Party revolt,” Mr. Bannon said.


2:40 P.M. in Washington, DC, 7:40 P.M. in Berlin

How important is North Carolina in this election?

Jim Morrill, a political reporter for The Charlotte Observer, explains why North Carolina matters so much.


1:50 P.M. in Washington, DC, 6:50 P.M. in Berlin

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 Japan, Israel, Brazil, Canada, China and Singapore.



1:35 P.M. in Washington, DC, 6:35 P.M. in Berlin

Obama Stumps for Clinton in North Carolina, Trump Goes on the Offensive in Florida

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are scrambling to make up for lost ground in the key swing states of North Carolina and Florida amid troubling early voter results for both candidates.

According to the New York Times, turnout among black voters is down 16 percent in the North Carolina, a bad omen for the Clinton campaign’s chances in the traditionally Republican-leaning state. White voter turnout is up 15 percent.

President Barack Obama won North Carolina due to high mobilization among the state’s African-American population in 2008. Mr. Obama plans to stump for Ms. Clinton in the southern state on Wednesday in a last-minute drive to get out the vote.

The news out of Florida has been more favorable for Ms. Clinton. Twenty-eight percent of Republican early voters have cast their ballots for Ms. Clinton over their own party’s nominee, according to a TargetSmith/William & Mary Poll.

Donald Trump is campaigning hard in the sunshine state on Wednesday. After holding a rally in Miami, Mr. Trump plans to make stops in Orlando and Pensacola.


1:21 P.M. in Washington, DC, 6:21 P.M. in Berlin

FBI October Surprise Dramatically Changes Race, Says Bloomberg Washington Chief

There’s been speculation for weeks that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats not only have the White House within reach, but also have a shot at sweeping both houses of Congress.

But the narrative has dramatically changed since the FBI dropped the bombshell announcement that it’s reviewing emails relevant to an investigation of Ms. Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state, according to Megan Murphy, the head of Bloomberg’s Washington bureau.

“It was a dramatic game changer unlike anything anyone has seen in terms of fully hijacking the narrative,” Ms. Murphy told Handelsblatt during an event in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Markets had prepared for more gridlock, she said, but they are now contemplating the consequences of a possible sweep by the Republicans of the presidency and both houses of Congress.

“What if we had a clean sweep tilting red, what would be the legislative agenda?” Ms. Murphy asked. “The market has priced in continual Washington nothingness. The thought of stuff actually getting done, whether that’s unpicking Dodd-Frank or scrapping red tape, that’s something that’s going to be very interesting.”


Dodd-Frank is the financial reform law that was passed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.


15:11 P.M. in Berlin, 10:11 A.M. in Washington, DC

14:25 P.M. in Berlin, 09:25 A.M. in Washington, DC


14:10 P.M. in Berlin, 09:14 A.M. in Washington, DC

5 percent of the Germans would vote for Trump

According to a recent Forsa survey conducted for German Stern magazine, 73 percent of the Germans would vote for Hillary Clinton and 5 percent for Donald Trump.

Of all German political parties, Mr. Trump unsurprisingly has his biggest fanbase amongst voters of the Alternative for Deutschland, or AfD. 23 percent of those polled spoke out in favor of the Republican candidate.

Deutsche Welle spoke to five very different Germans about the elections.

11:51 A.M. in Berlin, 6:51 A.M. in Washington, DC

Europe’s stock markets up in arms

“Fear of The Donald”, read a Handelsblatt headline in Germany Wednesday morning. News that Donald Trump is leading the latest daily tracking poll sent Europe’s stock markets reeling this morning.

Germany’s DAX immediately dropped almost 100 points. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.6 percent to 4,443.96. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent to 6,894.17. According to a Reuters report, Rabobank analysts wrote in a note to clients: “Whilst this is still very far from outright panic, it does indicate that market participants are taking precautions.”

FXTM Chief Market Strategist Hussein Sayed writes markets are in an “early stage of panic”.

11:00 A.M. in Berlin, 06:00 A.M. in Washington, DC

Institute: Trump victory could slow down German economy

If Donald Trump were to win the presidential election, this could reduce Germany’s economic growth by about half a percentage point in the coming year according to an analysis by British consultancy Oxford Economics, reports German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

As Die Zeit reports in its upcoming Thursday issue, the calculations are based on the assumption that Mr. Trump would largely be implementing the announcements he has made in the election campaign – especially the controversial big tariffs on imports from China and Mexico. According to Oxford Economics, such measures would put pressure on the world economy, which in turn would also be felt by German exporters. The expected uncertainty on the financial markets would also plague the economy.

Die Zeit also reports that the analysis is circulating in the Federal Government, where there is hope Mr. Trump would pursue a more moderate course in case of taking office.

10:49 P.M. November 1 in Washington, DC, 03:49 A.M. November 2 in Berlin

Our Daily Summary. Click here for more of our November 1 blog.

Panels with top policymakers like Robert Zoellick and a look at the best-selling children’s books on Trump and Hillary headline our first day on the job in Washington DC. Check out our summary video below, and check back for more on this live blog from Berlin and around the world in the coming hours and days as we count down to this crucial U.S. election on November 8.

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