Voters flock to polling stations to decide next US President

Washington, Nov 9 (IANS) Voters thronged polling stations across the US but many still seemed disappointed by the presidential candidates, finding it hard to decide who should be the country’s next leader.

Early exit polls show Republican nominee Donald Trump winning in Indiana and Kentucky and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the top in Vermont.

Both Clinton and Trump cast their ballots along with their families in the empire state on the morning of election day on Tuesday. Vermont Senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders voted for Clinton and again called for Trump’s defeat.

However, their fate as well as the country’s future will be decided by the American voters across the country, Xinhua news agency and media reports said.

Although Clinton is leading Trump by a few percent points in the latest national polls, the competition is still considered neck-to-neck.

At a polling place in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York, dozens of voters lined up outside the building as early as 7 a.m. Many poll officials helped voters to find their registration, fill in their ballot and vote.

Peter Vanden Bos said he voted for Hillary Clinton because he thought Trump was divisive, unqualified and unfit for the presidency.

“I wish the campaign would not have been so contentious and negative,” he said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”

Wearing a bright red cap with “Make America Free Again,” Trump supporter Alex Burlak was a rare sighting in the Borough that was considered more liberal than the rest of the city.

Burlak, a pharmacy owner, said he believed Clinton was the most corrupt politician in US history and “never told the truth in public, ever”.

In Frederick Samuel Community Center in Harlem, northern New York City, voter Desiree Kennedy did not want to disclose whom she had voted for, but said: “Honestly, I don’t care about either of the candidates.”

At the same polling station, 44-year-old Pauline Grant said she voted more for moral than for value. She said for five generations her family had voted for the Democrats.

In Williamsburg Community Center in Brooklyn, Scott, a startup owner in his 30s who only gave his first name, said: “I voted for Trump because I want something completely different.”

Clinton was earlier said to be leading Trump by 3.2 per cent points in the RealClear Politics average of national polls. That means that while Clinton may squeak by, the election may still be up for grabs.

Trump’s campaign has seen more ups and downs. Some polls in recent months have seen the brash billionaire leading Clinton by a point or two. And while it seemed just a few weeks ago that his campaign was doomed after the release of tapes in which he made outrageous sexist comments, Trump was able to spring back and resuscitate his campaign.

After that, Trump’s numbers surged recently after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) re-opened its investigation into Clinton’s email scandal.

“Clinton appears to be in good shape for Election Day,” Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua. He said Clinton had a fundraising advantage over Trump that allowed her to outspend Trump.

The 2016 race for the White House will be remembered for being the contest in which both candidates have unusually high negative rates, with each being despised by certain demographics.

While Trump is highly popular among white blue-collar Americans, he is hated by many single women and Latinos. Clinton is somewhat popular among her own supporters, but deeply distrusted by much of the public.