Will October surprises derail Trump, Clinton campaigns?

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As Election Day approaches, political scandals continue to roil both presidential campaigns.

“We’ve never had a race in this country that I can remember in which the supporters of one candidate want to lock the other candidate up,” said Carmine Scavo, an East Carolina University political science professor .

Scavo said these scandals could be affecting voters, even this late in the election season because the race is more personal than others.

“Very few are going to say ‘I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because she’s a Democrat; I’m voting for Donald Trump because he’s a Republican,” said Scavo. “Most people are saying ‘I’m voting for Donald Trump because he’s a strong leader’ or because we need more business in politics or something like that. Or ‘I’m voting for Hilary Clinton because she is the first woman running for president.’”

Fellow ECU political science professor Jonathan Rauh calls the late-breaking scandals October surprises, and he said politicians use them as a strategy.

“It’s much easier to give somebody incomplete information that appeals to something internal within them in 30 seconds than it is to sit down and have a five to 10-minute conversation with them where you actually explain the policy position,” said Rauh.

Both professors are not sure if these late campaign tactics really impact the voters.

“It reinforces this view that their vote simply doesn’t matter all that much, and the outcome is what the outcome is going to be, and they just don’t show up at the polls,” said Rauh.

Scavo said it obviously won’t affect people who have already voted at all.

“Some 22 million people already voted in the United States, so of course, this can’t sway (them),” said Scavo. “I’m one of them. This can’t sway us because we’ve already cast our vote.”

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