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    The Power of the Expat: Voters Based in Britain Could Swing US Election Results

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    2016 US Presidential Election (161)

    Research carried out by Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University has revealed that British-based US voters could hold the deciding vote when it comes to the November 8 presidential elections and the race to the White House.

    The paper, titled "America’s Overseas Voters: How They Could Decide The US Presidency In 2016," has outlined the power of the expat vote. 

    There are 8 million US voters living overseas, according to the report, and this could affect the result in some US States. Britain is home to around 224,000 expats according to figures from the State Department.  

    Sputnik spoke to Dr. Halbert Jones, Director of the Rothermere American Institute, who was involved in the research, who explained to Sputnik that this was not the first time that overseas voters have had such a powerful impact on the presidential election.

    "Overseas votes have been deciding factors in presidential elections in the past, most recently in 2000 where they delivered Florida, and the presidency, for George W. Bush. The impact of the overseas vote is always critically dependent on how tight the election is, at both a state and a national level. And of course, the overseas vote could become even more important if the level of participation of Americans abroad in the election were to rise significantly," Dr. Jones told Sputnik.

    Dr. Jones also warned that overlooking the overseas vote would be a serious error for either candidate, as nearly 3 million potential US voters live overseas, according to a recent US Government study.

    "Our analysis shows that their votes could tip the balance in very competitive states such as Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, that now appear to favor Hillary Clinton by a small margin, or, if Trump's prospects continue to fade, they could make the difference in other swing states like Georgia, Iowa and Arizona," Dr. Jones told Sputnik.

    While Democrat and Republican organizations abroad have been active in seeking to mobilize voters overseas, Dr. Halbert Jones believes that neither candidate in this campaign cycle has dedicated much attention to issues of concern to expats specifically.

    ​Dr. Jones advises that in the future, aspirants to the presidency might benefit from reaching out in a more focused and coordinated way to US citizens living abroad. 

    "In the closest swing states where Hillary looks like she is leading, like Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina, our analysis of October polling data suggests that if Trump could win the overseas vote with a majority of just a few thousand, he could take these states. But, as support for Trump has been falling away in recent days, some of the swing states, including Georgia, Iowa and Arizona, where just a couple weeks ago the Republicans looked the likely winners may now be potential targets for the Democrats, and the overseas vote could be critical here. If Clinton takes these states it's reasonable to imagine that she will take the presidency with a rout, not just a slim victory," Dr. Jones told Sputnik.

    The crucial question however, is which presidential candidate has won the expat vote?

    Dr. Jones said that US voters in Britain and around the world are a diverse group, but analysis suggests that overseas voters from at least one key swing state, North Carolina, are disproportionately registered urban, white Democrats.

    "We also know that in the international Democrat Primaries, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by almost 70 percent to 30 percent, so whether UK and other international US voters will be more motivated by Democrat leaning than by their lack of support for Clinton remains to be seen," Dr. Halbert added.

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    expats, race, power, research, vote, study, election, 2016 US Presidential election, Oxford University, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Europe, United States, United Kingdom
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