News from Abroad: The U.S. Election

Following the town hall debate last week between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the spotlight from news sources around the world is back on the U.S. elections. From China to Brazil and the United Kingdom, we take a look at the views from abroad of the U.S. elections this past week.

U.S. press generally favoring Clinton over Trump by Kira Boden-Gologorsky

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. coverage of last week’s first presidential debate was ample. The analysis from ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ media was predictable.

The New York Times, a center-left news outlet, ran numerous articles on the debate, ranging from criticism of Donald Trump’s tactics, to how and why Hillary Clinton won the debate, to a general fact check of the candidates’ statements. CNN, a moderate news source, featured a lot of empirical data from the event, and generally favored Hillary over Trump. The Rush Limbaugh show, a conservative radio news source, favored Trump.

Brazilian press concerned about anti-free trade platforms of both candidates by Juliana Coelho

As Brazil has been facing a time of political and economic hardships, which include the recent impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and continuous money laundering investigations, the American presidential election isn’t considered a priority in the media. However, both candidates have faced criticism in Brazil: On one side, a Brazilian blog has gone viral for alleging that Trump called Brazilian immigrants “Latino pigs,” infuriating both Brazilians who live abroad and at home; on the other side, the impeachment of Dilma had a slightly negative effect on Hillary’s campaign, as in 2015 she used Brazil as an example of why the U.S. should also elect a female president. Also, considering more practical issues, Brazil’s commercial relations with the United States seem to worry Brazilians. Brazil was not mentioned in the debates. Both candidates are against future trade partnerships, which could potentially lead Brazil to greater economic disadvantage due to isolation and exclusion.

Sources: BBC Brazil, Globo (both neutral regarding foreign politics) and

Spanish newspapers still shocked by Trump candidacy by Alex Schmit

The domestic political stance of the news sources appeared to have little influence on their opinions  of the U.S. elections and preference in candidate following the debates. There was overall a disapproval of Trump’s candidacy and a disbelief that he was still in the running, particularly following the recording of the business mogul’s offensive language towards women. El Pais, a left-wing newspaper, in particular showed its approval of Clinton’s ability to remain composed against an opponent like Trump in the debate and in general. El Periodico de Catalunya, a center-left publication, covered the tension between the Republican party as leaders withdrew their support from Trump and he responded with hostility, which the news source comments on in multiple disapproving opinion columns. This source, however, noted the power Trump holds as a future leader if elected and that the outcome of the election is still unpredictable. La Razon, an economically liberal but socially conservative publication, even presented an in-depth fact check of the debate, clearly in favor of Clinton’s performance, but ultimately displeased with how U.S. debates are turning out.

U.K. press critical of both candidates, generally ambivalent on U.S. elections by Emily Moffat

In the United Kingdom., publications from across the political spectrum have pretty similar lead stories on their websites. All the major news sources in the U.K. have a tracker of sorts that says who is in lead in the American presidential race, accompanied by a series of articles about what the candidates have said. Almost all of the articles are about Donald Trump’s recent comments on women and imprisoning Hillary Clinton if he is elected. Across the political spectrum in the U.K., all of the newspapers have articles on the video released of him. The articles describe his behavior around women and his response to it, calling the incident “locker room talk.” Also, The Independent (a left-leaning newspaper), The Times (a center-right newspaper), and The Financial Times (an economically liberal, politically centrist newspaper) all reported on many of the GOP’s top officials abandoning Trump and his attempts to cope with their departure. Similarly, The Guardian (a center-left newspaper) and The Financial Times had articles around the recent wikileaks release of Clinton’s speeches given on Wall Street.  Also, The Telegraph (a center-right newspaper) offered many perspectives on the question of “who won the debate,” evenly splitting between both candidates, mostly offering the opinion that either Clinton did not defend her positions and attack Trump enough—which allowed Trump to make up ground from his recent scandals—or that Trump was boisterous, did not answer questions and was un-relatable to the audience at the townhall, allowing Clinton to take the debate. Overall, the U.K.’s newspapers do not really favor a candidate over another, but rather comment on how unlikeable both candidates are:reporting on the stream of scandals Trump has been involved in and Clinton’s hypocrisy and email scandal.

Italian press split, but generally critical of Trump candidacy by Victoria Ann Cece

News on the U.S. presidential election in Italy is popularly read in the center-left newspaper La Repubblica, as well as the more center-right Corriere della Sera. La Repubblica is covering the election more explicitly by holding a special column for all news regarding the election, both unbiased reports and opinion pieces. Corriere della Sera contains a series of basic reports on the election, but has not been as enthusiastic in its coverage of the race.

The perspectives are generally cohesive throughout both of the popular news sources. There is common concern for the future of America and the dangers that Trump represents. Most of the articles reflect on the same current events that American news covers, particularly in La Repubblica. There is up to date coverage on Trump’s loss of political support due to recent allegations and news leaks. Trump’s behavior on social media is discussed. These sites relay a similar approach as the more liberal newspapers in America do, reflecting on both sides of the equation. Il Giornale, a newspaper supported by the far right, reveals a further right winged tone as compared to the two other more known newspapers. This one provides further articles that consider the perspective of those who support Trump, even referencing Fox News.

Altogether, most newspapers are highlighting the key events that occur concerning the election, analyzing all the latest revelations and scandals. There is a clear acknowledgement of the volatility and importance of this presidential race.

Chinese press sees the current state of the U.S. elections as proof of the failure of the U.S. electoral system by Antonio Kieschnick

There is currently a lot of discussion among the two main Chinese news sources (Ren Min Ri Bao and Can Kao Xiao Xi) about the American presidential election. The Chinese press essentially covers a lot of the same things being discussed in the U.S., so there are articles on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s defection from Donald Trump. Even Warren Buffett’s spat about revealing tax returns is talked about. There was an editorial published through the Ren Min Ri Bao, which is the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, where they decried the chaos of the current U.S. elections as reflecting the complete state of disrepair and corruption within the current electoral mechanism. They have used the current elections as proof of the failure of the American electoral system, saying that it is completely exhausted, and sort of christening it as a failure. Trump’s comments on women have also been discussed and the Chinese opinion of those comments is the same as in the U.S.: disgust. From China’s perspective, both candidates are heavily antagonistic towards future trade partnerships, so for the Chinese, this election ultimately marks a severe blow to China’s economic prospects, at least in the U.S.. On top of that, it is clear even from China that the American populace is not happy with its two candidates and deeply divided.

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