14:31 GMT +317 October 2019
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    U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton (top) and Donald Trump speak at campaign rallies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S. October 28, 2016 and Delaware, Ohio October 20, 2016 in a combination of file photos.

    'There is No Lesser of Two Evils': US Expats in UK Brace Themselves for Election

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    With just hours to go before the race to the White House is completed and the next President of the United States is formally announced, thousands of US expats living in the UK are heading out to cast their vote.

    US expats are key in this election contest. 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. 

    Early morning polls showed that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton held a slight majority over her competitor, Republican Donald Trump. However the election is ongoing, and millions are yet to vote.

    That is why the US expat vote is powerful; and could swing election results.

    There are 8 million US citizens living overseas who are eligible to vote, according to the report, and this could affect results in some US states. Britain is home to around 224,000 US expats, according to figures from the US State Department. 

    Clinton Supporter

    Hillary Clinton has been the favorite to win, but there are no certainties, and it is for that reason that one US expat will be voting for Clinton.

    Kari, who has lived in the UK for 13 years with her husband and family, said that she grew up a Republican, and formerly believed in the party. However, once Kari closely examined the issues, she switched to the Democrats.

    "There were many issues I feel that the Republican Party did not address or help solve, such as women's issues, especially for the right for us to make decisions about our body. I also think that education is something that the Republican Party has stopped looking at and it's not good for women or anyone. I do however like what is happening in healthcare," Kari told Sputnik.

    Kari's desire to vote for Clinton comes from her need to see change, as she does not believe that Trump or his Vice-Presidential nominee, Mike Pence, offer that.

    "There's a lot about Trump personally that I don't think he is suitable. However it is Pence that scares me. Pence is a Christian, but what he endorses is not a Christian mindset. Jesus stood for inclusiveness and love, so Pence's views on homosexuality, gay marriage and women's rights — I don't believe match that of a Christian. I am a Christian and I go to church and my viewpoint on Christianity is very different from Pence," Kari told Sputnik.

    For Kari and her family, the UK will be their permanent home, and they are doubtful they will return to the US. However, as an American citizen, Kari feels that it is important to vote.

    "I am British citizen also but I feel like it's something I have do as a [US] citizen," Kari said.

    Johnson Voter

    Kari is not the only expat keen to vote, as Kate Andrews, who lives in London, also feels the same way, although she does not believe that either mainstream candidate is up for the challenge, and, as a result, she will vote for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.

    "I don't think that either party system has put up a candidate that is good. America is in need of more options and I like taking part in the political process. I personally enjoy the role and I really feel like the best use of this vote is Johnson. I will also be part of the Connecticut vote, which is not a swing state. However there is no doubt that Clinton will win in the state of Connecticut," she told Sputnik.

    So why vote for a nominee, who you know has no chance of winning? Some would call that a wasted vote.

    "I want him to get more attention, he is not perfect, and in terms of foreign policy he is lacking. But Trump and Clinton's views on foreign policy frightens me. I really like what he [Johnson] has to say about economic and social affairs." 

    For Andrews there is also no ‘lesser of two evils' in this vote, as, even if the only two candidates on the ballot paper were Trump and Clinton, both would be a bad choice for her.

    "If Trump wins, it wouldn't make me feel great and it wouldn't make me feel great if Clinton wins either," Andrews told Sputnik. 

    She added: "There is no 'lesser of two evils.' We can predict what she will do and we can predict she will raise taxes and be bad for the economy. With him it's hard to predict what he would do and we have no idea what we are getting."

    Trump Supporter

    Trump supporters in the UK are hard to come by, perhaps because they already know what the election outcome will be, or are simply none the wiser. Whatever the verdict is, they appear to have gone into hiding. After tireless sleuthing, Sputnik news managed to locate one, a Trump supporter who believes that the self-described billionaire businessman is the right person for the job, and persuading him otherwise is futile. Frank, has lived in the UK for seven years, with his family.

    "I'm not going to say that Trump isn't controversial, he is, but that is why I like him. I'm controversial so why not have a leader who knows how to lead. I'm fed up with Obama and Clinton, it's time for the Republicans to reclaim the presidency, Frank told Sputnik.

    He added: "If he [Trump] wins I will be very happy, if Clinton wins, get ready for more Obama years."

    The 2016 US election cycle is thankfully coming to an end, but it is safe to say that the controversy surrounding this process will continue. One thing is certain, this vote is of vital importance to US expats in the UK.

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    vote2016, US, candidate, expats, election, 2016 US Presidential election, Gary Johnson, Mike Pence, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, United States, United Kingdom
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