Much of the world is baffled by the fact that Donald Trump could be voted into office.
He’s offended women, ethnic minorities, disabled people; been accused of sexual assault, called for mass deportations and a shut down on Muslim people entering the US, complimented Russian president Vladimir Putin and refused to rule out using nuclear weapons on Europe.
Trump may not be every Republicans’ first choice, but many want the party re-elected regardless, after what they see as a disastrous eight years under Barack Obama.
But Trump’s appeal runs far deeper than his plans to put pro-life judges in the Surpreme Court, protect the Second Amendment and build a wall in an attempt to keep Mexican people out of the US.
So why do millions of American voters actually trust a property tycoon and reality TV star to run the country?
It’s a position that’s served him extremely well, even if he has at some points denied it.
He’s certainly not a ‘career-politician’ and has never been part of a political establishment, neither have any of his family.
So in that sense he can distinguish himself from the Clintons, and other Republican candidates, in every which way.
He doesn’t operate by normal political rules so he appeals to people who’ve never related to presidential candidates before, or perhaps never voted before.
Trump well and truly pegged himself as an outsider who’s against the status-quo and, well, if you don’t like how things are, a bold alternative can be a powerful persuasion.
I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2015
But is it all about a collective middle finger to the establishment, or far more than that?
“I love the fact that he isn’t a ‘career politician,’”Trump supporter Debbie Hoover says. “It means he has no other special interest than the American people…. At his age of 70 he has decided to run for president, that speaks highly to me.
“Hillary Clinton has been a politician for 30 years, and has done nothing for our country.”
The 48-year-old from Amarillo, Texas, has supported Trump since the primaries, says: “There is so much corruption in Washington DC, I think the fact he’s not a typical politician is a benefit. He’ll drain the swamp, as he says.”
If he can make the portfolio of Trump businesses a success, he can make America a success too, right?
A business tycoon in a fiercely capitalist nation, he represents dreaming big and being rewarded financially for it – something that’s struck a chord with huge amounts of young voters.
Particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
But politics, and indeed running the country, isn’t just about balancing the books.
And even if it was, Trump has had some failures amongst his successes. Real estate has been his biggest triumph but his casino business produced four bankruptcies.
Trump argued however that filing for bankruptcy is a common business decision, and he even managed to swing the allegations that he has avoided paying a lot of tax as good business sense.
Trump said: “America doesn’t win anymore”, and for many people that rings true. They feel he will put American people before the rest of the world and, if nothing else, make it prosperous.
Trump’s policies on the economy couldn’t be further from Clinton’s.
He says he’ll cut taxes for everyone (doesn’t that sound nice?), while the Democrat wants to make sure big corporations pay their fair share of tax and increase taxes for the wealthy (while 95% of tax payers would see no change to theirs).
Trump basically wants less government ‘burden’ when it comes to the economy but plenty of ‘opportunity’, often the case in a Republican or conservative government.
He promises to create 25 million jobs, and focuses on a return to manufacturing jobs in the States rather than importing products from elsewhere in the world.
His critics say there’ll be a recession under his leadership.
His supporters believe his business acumen better enables him to negotiate trade deals, and he hasn’t been quiet over his dislike of the TTP deal (Transpacific Trade Partnership) which he calls “job killing”.
As we know, he likes to reminisce back to a time when ‘America was great’ and economic growth was bigger. And rhetoric like that can stick.
It may sound strange because Clinton, and the Democrats traditionally, offer policies like a rise in minimum wage, protection of union rights and free or cheaper healthcare access.
Trump wants to repeal Obamacare and give even more tax breaks to the most wealthy to grow the economy – a sort of trickle-down approach to wealth.
But many low to mid-income voters feel alienated by politics and punished by the economy, as if everyone is benefiting but them.
And it’s not just lower-income earners. After Trump was named as the Republican nominee for president Money magazine wrote that: “For much of the primary season, Trump was dismissed as the candidate of the deeply disaffected and uneducated.
“As the campaign season went on, that became less and less supportable. In many states from Super Tuesday onwards, Trump won handily among GOP voters with college degrees.
“Blue collar workers may have made up Trump’s most devoted supporters, but it took a lot of $70,000-a-year professionals to get him to Cleveland.”
Adding: “Trump’s appeal is certainly strongest for those who feel like their expectations have been disappointed.”
Feel for some Trump voters on the telly. Like some #Brexit voters, decent + hard-working who feel what they're voting for will help them— BK Sandber®️g (@TheeSandbergs) November 7, 2016
One thing Trump blames this dissatisfaction on is immigration. Building a wall and conducting mass deportation may have seemed like a ludicrous thing to most of the world, but with 11 million undocumented people in the States, people see it as an issue.
And - let’s remember the Leave campaign in the UK – it’s easy to put the focus on immigration as the route of a country’s problems and persuade people to believe it.
Whether they are blind promises or legitimate implementable policies, the fact that Trump has promised so much change has given many people hope.
While many see his bravado as ridiculous, offensive and even dangerous, Trump supporters don’t see his lack of filter as a problem. They see transparency.
His style couldn’t be further from Clinton’s sleek, rehearsed performances during televised debates. And for a lot of people, that’s not a bad thing.
Hoover says: “Trump may need a filter for his mouth at times, but I believe he will take care of some very important problems in the USA. For me, what he brings that’s been missing in politics is honesty.
“That may sound strange to you, but he has no reason to lie to the American people.”
The Democrat nominee has been called cold and untrustworthy and she’s certainly not squeaky clean.
There’s the FBI investigation into the deleted emails on her personal server, the drone strikes she oversaw in Pakistan when she was secretary of state, and her financial ties with Wall Street donors.
YouTuber Cassandra Fairbanks switched from being a Bernie Sanders supporter to Trump.
“There’s quite a few issues where I really honestly believe Donald Trump is closer to Bernie than Clinton is,” she says on her channel, like investing in infrastructure. “Yes he says some stupid s*** but Clinton is more dangerous,” she adds, referring to Clinton’s foreign policy and past involvement in the arms trade between the US and Saudi Arabia.
From the many, many social media groups supporting Trump, it’s clear a lot of people are absolutely convinced Clinton is corrupt. Plain and simple.