Editorial: Presidential election will have far-reaching consequences

No matter which candidate wins this year’s presidential election, the campaign’s effects will be felt for some time to come.

The race between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump has been the most volatile in recent memory and may redefine the campaign process in the coming years. This election has been largely regarded as a battle between the “political establishment” and the “political outsiders,” as seen during both party’s primary elections.

For the Republicans, Trump was able to defeat his more established opponents, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Meanwhile, Clinton faced a substantial challenge from Bernie Sanders in many states during the Democratic primaries. With both candidates fighting against historic disapproval ratings, the result on Nov. 8 will likely be contentious, regardless of the eventual victor.

In addition, the increased presence of social media may have played a greater role than in previous elections. Both candidates have launched substantive efforts to use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to promote their campaigns. Supporters of each candidate have also become more outspoken on their political beliefs than in past elections. With more and more people making their voice heard over the internet, future candidates will have to know how to use these platforms to their fullest.

This election cycle has also seen a greater amount of support for third-party candidates than ever before. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, both of whom have significant followings in their own right, top the list of the non-major party roster. There also exists the ever-present “write-in” option, where voters can cast their ballots for candidates not listed on the official ballot. With a greater variety of options, future candidates will need to find ways to expand their base and unify their supporters to avoid losing votes to smaller parties.

Whichever candidate you support, The Pacer urges you to cast your vote. Early voting in Tennessee ends Nov. 3, and Election Day is Nov. 8. Voting is an important part of the democratic process, so do not miss this opportunity to make your choice.

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