Trump vs. Clinton for Dummies: Everything You Need To Know About The US Presidential Election

Publish Date
Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 1:13PM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

The biggest (and most entertaining) event in the US presidential race is being held from 2pm today, NZ time (you can stream it LIVE at – the debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump.

Unsure of what it's all about? Here’s everything you need to know about the candidates’ policies ahead of the debate.


Both Trump and Clinton oppose the TPPA – the controversial trade deal between 12 pacific nations including New Zealand and America. John Key is trying to push the deal through before Obama’s term ends, because it’ll be seriously difficult to make progress under either Trump or Clinton.


We’ve all heard of (and laughed) about Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between America and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. He also wants to deport immigrants posing a “terrorist threat” and introduce a test to make sure anyone wanting to move to the States hold “American values”.

Hillary Clinton’s taking a more welcoming approach to immigration. She wants a total immigration overhaul that would create a clear pathway to citizenship.


Donald Trump has made vague comments about banning people from countries with a history of terrorism from entering America - he has yet to specify which countries. He’s promising to be tougher on terrorism, even suggesting the killing of suspected terrorists’ family members could be an appropriate strategy.

Hillary Clinton wants tougher vetting of refugees, including people fleeing the war in Syria. She wants to increase intelligence and fight online activity by terrorists.


As a businessman himself, Donald Trump wants to cut taxes for businesses and lower tax rates for high earners. His plans would cut how much America collects in tax by up to $5.9 trillion US over a decade.

Hillary Clinton wants to overhaul the business tax system, increase capital gains tax and bring in a 30% minimum tax rate for households earning more than $2 million US a year. 


Trump’s promising a “trillion dollar rebuilding program” to improve roads, airports, bridges, water systems and the power grid. He also wants to spend more on defence.

Hillary Clinton has a $275 billion US infrastructure plan, and would also create a $25 billion US infrastructure bank with the money she’d get from her business tax overhaul. She also wants to spend more on job training, community college and clean energy.

Other issues

Donald Trump’s changed his stance on abortion several times, but his most recent promise is for a full ban and punishment for women who have abortions, except for in cases of rape or incest.

Hillary Clinton thinks safe and legal abortion should be a right for all women, and wants to make it easier for those on low incomes to get abortions.

Clinton has also promised to fix the gender pay gap and stamp out discrimination against women in the workplace. Trump has no policies on the pay gap.