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Hillary has decided advantage as more women will vote in 2016 elections

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-24 11:09

Hillary has decided advantage as more women will vote in 2016 elections

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks after being inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in New York, March 16, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- The likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's status as the only female contender in the race for the White House gives her a decided advantage over other candidates, as more women than men are expected to vote, US experts said.

The former first lady, secretary of state and senator carries much weight with American women, being seen as perhaps the first woman candidate with a serious chance of winning the 2016 race to the White House. Many American women would view that as a victory for all women nationwide, as well as the issues they hold dear.

"Clinton's gender will be an advantage because more women than men vote," Brookings Institution's senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua, "Women have become very active politically and they want to see their issues addressed."

Still, Clinton cannot depend solely on her gender to win the elections, and many experts, pundits and political soothsayers say she must avoid depending too much on her gender to gain votes.

Indeed, Clinton will have to appeal to a much broader pool of voters if she hopes to clinch the White House in 2016. Her best bet is to take advantage of her unique status of being female, but seek to demonstrate why she has the leadership ability and vision to be an effective president, experts said.

Clinton in recent weeks has been embroiled in controversy, and questions remain over her sole use of a private server and email account to conduct business while in office.

The New York Times revealed recently that Clinton solely used a private email account to conduct business during her tenure as secretary of state, and kept a private server at her residence. It sparked a wave of controversy and myriad questions, such as whether she sent any classified information through the account.

But the controversy is likely to fade into the background as election season gets fully under way, because Clinton will likely stonewall reporters, who in turn will forget about the controversy and move on to the next news of the day, opponents contend.

But while the issue in and of itself is unlikely to derail her campaign, Republicans are likely to add it to their narrative of what they label an untrustworthy and secretive Clinton who, they say, believes the rules do not apply to her.

Foreign policy is expected to be a major issue in the 2016 US presidential elections, and that may spell trouble for Clinton, as critics will view her as tainted by the White House's perceived foreign policy missteps.

As a former secretary of state under President Barack Obama, Clinton spurred controversy for what critics billed as not being forthcoming on the details surrounding the 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the US ambassador.

Moreover, with the administration now coming under fire for putting the threat of the Islamic State -- a radical terror group in Iraq and Syria -- on the backburner until the situation boiled over, Clinton could be viewed as lacking foresight on major foreign policy issues.

Still, those are complex issues that will be lost on most voters, as what political scientists call "low information voters" -- those poorly informed or misinformed about politics -- tend to cast the most votes in US presidential elections. Pundits say Republicans will have to simplify those issues into terms that resonate with average US voters.


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