With news that the billionaire New York businessman is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, it seems worthwhile to see how the race has progressed to this point and what it may mean from a business perspective.
In the wake of the decisive Indiana primary, pollster Nate Silver of FiveThiryEight made the comment that “Republican voters…intervened to wrestle control of the nomination back from the delegates” starting April 19 when Trump began his unbroken string of winning majorities in 7 consecutive contests. This is an interesting observation, especially in context of an article that this phenomenon represents a “failure of a political institution.” Regardless of one’s political persuasion it would seem that a political system is at its best when the voters can express themselves through the fair, legitimate casting of their votes.
Trump (and to be fair, Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side) seems to have tapped into a groundswell of concern by an extraordinary number of citizens that not only is the country headed in a problematic direction, but that something is sorely lacking in terms of economic opportunity at all levels. Take for example the devastation of many industries such as coal mining. Trump’s steadfast assertion that he will reverse this trend has resonated strongly with affected voters. The case can be made that this is a very reasonable economic policy, because making energy more available and economical will broaden options for economic development and help free businesses from the shackles of overburdening and overreaching regulations.
At the same time, Trump’s naysayers, including likely Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, point to his brash personality, blunt statements and seemingly contradictory stances on many issues as reason to oppose his candidacy, and they will do so vigorously. This election is by no means in the bag for either candidate. The takeaway for New York: our state factors heavily into the campaigns of both parties, and that is good news indeed!
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce