A landmark event we witnessed on the morning of November 9, 2016 was the landslide win for Trump, who became the legitimate President elect of US. As the drama of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s election victory unfolded, reactions were mixed. There was shock, disbelief, euphoria (for the Republicans). There was disarray. The US markets slumped.
Fact was Republican Donald Trump stunned the world, by defeating the favoured Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, ending eight years of Democratic rule, which had President Obama at the helm. This meant that the country would embark on a new path.
The social media went ballistic. “Ab ki baar. Trump sarkaar” said a tweet, echoing the BJP campaign during the 2014 elections.
How engaged were Trump’s band of voters? It was thought that to translate his core support into success at the polls, Trump must expand his appeal beyond his base and reach out to more influential, engaged voters; he also needed to give his existing supporters a reason to get involved in ways not done before. It looked like Trump supporters lagged behind Republican voters in general, in high-engagement voter categories. But, that did not matter, for Trump continued to make headlines, but whether those headlines translated into voter engagement or not, it was not clear. But, now we know for sure.
Fareed Zakaria of CNN admitted that we got the election wrong. No one predicted this result.
In US, every four years, political experts insist that young voters could be a decisive factor in the presidential campaign. Whatever you felt about the candidates and the issues, few would argue that the 2016 presidential campaign has been one of the most unpredictable events that U.S. has ever seen.
Today, we see brands aiming to reach out to millennials, and during this election campaign too, millennials were getting a big share of campaign updates from major social platforms, where young voters were getting to know the candidates. The trend was stronger among millennial voters, who reported getting campaign news from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Snapchat in significant numbers.
A large part of America is still trying to make sense of it, said Zakaria.
Throw back to Elections 2014, where Indian youth voted for ‘doer’ Modi. We remember how the BJP delivered a stunning victory, overshadowing rivals by winning all the way. And for several young voters, Narendra Modi’s impressive track record on development as Gujarat’s chief minister was the key reason why they voted for the right-wing party. In fact, after the poor show from Congress, there was no option left. If he can replicate his development work in Gujarat across India, the political scenario can change, felt the voter base, and took the risk.
So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014 to lead India by harnessing the support of the country’s massive youth population. With half the population under the age of 21, Modi’s campaign invoked the transformative power of the country’s youth and ticked off the incumbent Congress government for ignoring their aspirations.
Recently, however, as the government’s position was strengthened, there was detected a slight youth alienation with the BJP and perhaps the reason lay in the Modi government’s unfulfilled promises and in the dashed hopes of the country’s youth – no sign of ‘ache din’. The gaping gulf between campaign promises and performance is all too common in politics, especially so in India. Modi promised them ‘ache din’. Modi had campaigned in 2014 with a promise to create 10 million jobs annually to eliminate youth unemployment, if elected to power. With some 12 million youths entering the job market every year that promise struck a chord. To the youth, Modi was the purposeful leader, who could turn things around.
But, the dissent, if any, was wiped out, as it were, with the black money crackdown news last night. PM Narendra Modi’s war on black money really has taken the nation by surprise. In fact, reports were that Modi indeed, played a trump card, and once again, the social media exploded. His announcement of banning Rs.500 and Rs. 1000 notes from November 8 midnight is now trending on Twitter.
Here’s a glimpse of what Twitterati is saying about Modi’s war on black money. “A surgical strike on black money”, “America counting votes, India counting notes” and so on. It may be a masterstroke, but the common man’s love affair with new dimension of currency notes is raging in media, as I go to print on this column. Black money mafia, a ‘dirty’ currency market where touts are making a killing and what have you…