Professor Simon Jackman, CEO of United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney conducted a private roundtable luncheon and public lecture in which he assessed the effectiveness of US President Donald Trump during his first year in office, as well as some of the circumstantial factors surrounding his decision.
- There is a significance difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. The disparity between the outcomes of the popular vote and the Electoral College vote during the 2016 election paints a Trump re-election as unlikely. This can, in part, be attritbuted to the recognition within the Democratic party of its weakness in key states during the election, as well as the likelihood that President Trump will be unable to follow through on many of the election promises which swung the election in his favour.
- The impeachment for President Trump is unlikely. The process of impeachment would require a unified Democratic Party, as well as a critical mass in favour of impeachment within the Republican Party. In tandem with the fact that Republicans control both the House and the Senate, the absence of these factors gives little credence to claims that the impeachment process is soon to be initiated.
- Support within the Republican Party is a key variable. President Trump's initial 85% approval rating among Republicans appears to be slipping. In terms of potential avenues for an early departure from office, an internal vote within the Republican Party appears unlikely.
- Gerrymandering in the US. Professor Jackman highlighted the issues surrounding partisan gerrymandering in the US, particularly in the state of Wisconsin. In terms of election results, the kind of gerrymandering that took place in Wisconsin not only pre-determined the areas electoral results, but also locked in a disproportionate and unfair advantage for one party over another.
is an intern at the Perth USAsia Centre.