how brexit may determine the presidential election - Global Trade Magazine
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  August 1st, 2016 | Written by

how brexit may determine the presidential election

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This election, same as all previous elections, is the “most important in history.” Maybe that’s true this time. The inheritance likely awaiting either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly a treasure trove of positivity: escalating war games with China and Russia, the divisive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in a holding pattern, all manner of violence ramping up domestically and around the world, and an economic recovery that’s proven as elusive as the Sasquatch.

These issues are the result of policies and leadership spanning more than the current administration. Now would be a great time for a once-in-a-generation leader, but few seem confident one will be on the ballot in November when we choose between a man with no government experience and woman with all the wrong kinds. What I do have faith in is the ability of the American people to replace Congress with members of whatever party doesn’t occupy the White House if they’re not happy with the direction things are going. I think we forget sometimes: The gridlock decried by some as the system failing is really the system working precisely as it was designed.

The preferred president of small business owners tells a somewhat predictable story. A Manta poll of small business owners taken this July found that 37 percent believe Trump would be the better president for business while just 28 percent chose Clinton. Thirty-five percent were undecided.

What’s interesting here is that 39 percent of the respondents were independents, 34 percent were Republican and 27 percent were Democrats. Why is that interesting? Because of the roughly 4 percent of independents that actually gave an opinion, 75 percent of them had more faith in Trump than Clinton. And why is that predictable? Because these are entrepreneurs with a vested interest in the economy, and they likely pay attention to world affairs. Is it any surprise that those not swayed by party loyalty are choosing to believe in a billionaire with a business record over a woman whose long and controversial career in politics includes such missteps as promising to put coal companies out of business, who worked hard for Obamacare which is putting companies out of business and who now leads the party that currently represents the biggest enemy of all, the status quo?

Which brings us to what has accompanied Trump’s meteoric political rise: the worldwide wave of nationalism, Brexit and the anti-TPP sentiment that stalled the trade deal in Congress. As weeks peel off the calendar and the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit demise fails to materialize, the world watches and thinks, “Maybe the fallout risk was overblown.”

This election, same as all previous elections, will come down to the relatively small percentage of independents not entrenched in either party—a group whose business leaders seem to currently be favoring Trump at a three-to-one clip. These people will be watching what, if anything, happens in the U.K. My modest prediction is that any real damage will spook these voters and damage one of Trump’s best applause lines. If Europe doesn’t implode, however, it will embolden an America first crowd wary of TPP and help push Trump over the top on election night.