On LinkedIn, Nancy Benac summarizes it very simply. She has worked as a “Newswoman” for Associated Press since 1980.
Translation: Benac has covered her fair share of U.S. presidential elections and it is one of her recent stories that crowns the front page of today’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune in South Florida. Her item leads, correctly, with the observation that this is the U.S. election ‘that put the “ugh” in ugly.’
Over on the West Coast, in a northern California county that voted 74% in favor of President Obama in 2012, the Marin Independent Journal front page looks more like something that would be handed out at a U.S. registered voters group-therapy meeting. It’s all about residents being “Unhappy With Candidates From Both Parties” and simply “Surviving” this dreadful campaign.
The “Great Divide” that Sarasota voters are reading about this morning is a theme that echos across the country. For a front-page article in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jeff Caplan, a senior news reporter who fittingly recently moved over from the sports department, frames it as follows:
Through the bickering, the boorish behavior and bad-mouthing; the endless fact-checking, fact-ignoring and even fact-creating; accusations of a rigged election and a dishonest media; widening gulfs among races, religions, gender and class; an awakening of the so-called alt-right; Twitter rants and condemnations and, of course, the most infamous email server of modern times, one indivisible truth will be evident when polls close Tuesday night and a new president is declared: Americans will remain as vehemently divided as the day Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump took the stage as the two most reviled candidates in United States history.
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