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When American voters go to the polls on November 8, they will bring to an end an election cycle that has wholly captivated and sometimes shocked the nation. On that day, the United States will elect its 45th President, and the electoral college map will once again assume the shades of red and blue.

As of high summer, Hillary holds a commanding lead. But in an election cycle marked by unpredictable twists and turns, the tide may yet turn several times before polling day.

This special blog series, USA Decides 2016, focuses on the intersection between election coverage and political science, bringing together insight from our academics and students on an election posing a range of contested questions. How is electoral data changing? Will more blue-collar voters drift to the GOP column? What does this election say about the power of political parties? Can the centre-left hold on to power in a year defined by populism?

Join the Oxford University Politics Blogs to engage with our regular coverage. If you are an academic or student interested in contributing, please contact our editorial team through the contact link above.

Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States in January, but will he actually be able to carry out his agenda? Nigel Bowles writes that he will largely be able to. In the areas of trade, security, taxation and judicial appointments Congress will struggle to constrain him under current law and politics. Changing immigration law and reforming the Affordable Care Act are likely to prove more challenging. Nonetheless, during the first year of the Trump presidency American politics is likely to give the appearance of being what it only rarely is: a presidential system. For better or for worse, President …

What Trump may not realise, however, is that he is in fact dealing the deadliest blow so far to the neoliberal order that he feeds on. In electing Donald Trump the forty-fifth president of the United States on 8 November 2016, the American people have in fact voted against Trump and the predatory system he embodies. He may have masterfully exploited the despair of the precariat to his own advantage, yet it is the precariat, the working class struggling with chronic and manifold precarity, that is using him as a weapon against the invisible oppressive hand of neoliberalism that has …

It is slowly dawning on us all that Donald Trump was right when he said that the American election day ‘will be Brexit times 10’. In my experience, 4,000 miles across the Atlantic, people looked ten times more shocked when they saw Trump give a victory speech than when it became clear that their country had decided to leave the European Union. Much has been written about Trump’s hateful rhetoric, which has offended 282 people and places on twitter alone, and the possible ramifications of his breaking long-established domestic norms. But it is the global implications of a Trump presidency …

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory has—among many others—upset political commentators. Few predicted the outcome. Most used periodic polling and historical trends to predict that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win. Almost every step of the way, from the primaries to election night, there were election analysts who failed to acknowledge Trump as a credible contender. Studies of the electoral map suggested the pathway to the White House was nearly unachievable for Trump. He would need to win all of the big swing states to reach the required 270 Electoral College votes. In the end Clinton won the popular vote …

The US election result came as an absolute shock to many, but it was the pollsters that took the biggest hit. The major poll-based forecasts, a lot of models, the prediction markets, even the superforecaster crowd all got it wrong. They estimated high probabilities for a Clinton victory, even though some were more careful than others in claiming that the race would be very tight. Our prediction survey, however, was spot on thanks to the method we used for Oraclum Intelligence Systems, a start-up developed out of our academic work. We predicted a Trump victory, and we called all the major swing states in his …

The election of Donald Trump is a political earthquake with few direct precedents. Andrew Jackson’s election as a populist in 1832 is one possibility. As a novice to elected office, President Eisenhower’s election in 1952 has that in common but little else. Ideologically, Trump’s radical reforms permit a loose analogy with Ronald Reagan’s agenda in 1980, but President Reagan was an outward-looking and internationally engaged White House incumbent. Trump is decidedly inward looking and isolationist. His conversion into a normal presidential candidate has been remarkable. Trump’s intelligence and knowledge of the world of social media and TV entertainment gave him …