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Business Council Hosts Lively Forum On Presidential Campaign

Seated, from left, political forum panelists Beth Fouhy, Steven Greenberg, Adam Edelman and Lane Filler. Standing, from left, BCW Executive Vice President John Ravitz; Board Member Taryn Duffy, President Marsha Gordon; and Board Member George Lence.
Seated, from left, political forum panelists Beth Fouhy, Steven Greenberg, Adam Edelman and Lane Filler. Standing, from left, BCW Executive Vice President John Ravitz; Board Member Taryn Duffy, President Marsha Gordon; and Board Member George Lence. Photo Credit: Contributed/John Vecchiolla

RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- The 2016 presidential campaign is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory, according to a panel discussion sponsored by The Business Council of Westchester.

That was the consensus of journalists and a political pollster who took part in a lively and informative forum on Friday titled: "The Road to the White House."

The program featured Adam Edelman, chief political reporter for the Daily News; Beth Fouhy, senior political editor for MSNBC; Steven Greenberg, chief pollster for the Siena Research Institute; and Lane Filler, columnist and editorial board member for Newsday.

Fouhy discussed the national demographic trends affecting the election, noting: "We are becoming a browner and younger nation which is creating structural problems for Republicans winning on a national level. You can't win by pushing for the highest turnout of white voters."

Greenberg said that since 1900 there have been 15 Republican presidents and 14 Democratic presidents. "We are a 50/50 country." He discounted the importance of early primary polling, explaining that frontrunners in past elections quickly faded -- citing Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani as examples.

How social media is changing the way candidates interact with the news media and voters was Edelman's focus. "Social media makes it a lot easier for candidates to get their message out," Edelman said, noting that Donald Trump has shown "extraordinary expertise" at using social media to interact with voters while Jeb Bush has been "slow to the game."

Asked to name the two likely party nominees for 2016, all agreed that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic choice and many said Marco Rubio would be the GOP's pick. As for running mates, several mentioned Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown for the Democratic ticket and Ohio Governor John Kasich for the GOP ticket. As for Trump, no one on the panel thought he would be the Republican Party nominee.

Friday's program, part of the Business Council of Westchester's ongoing political leadership series, was moderated by John Ravitz, BCW executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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