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A SWOT analysis of Trump vs. Clinton

Rob Enderle | July 11, 2016
Competitive assessment takes the publicly known attributes of a product and compares it to its competition. Columnist Rob Enderle uses SWOT to compare and contrast Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.


Clinton: First woman president, a sense of making history. Nurturing image would contrast against Trump’s exclusionary position nicely. Has ex-president as a primary advisor. Appeals strongly to those who don’t want change. CEOs are often not trusted by blue collar workers.

Trump: Clinton nomination appears fixed, Clinton email scandal appears fixed, a constant focus on Clinton being given/stealing the election is a huge opportunity to disenfranchise voters.   People won’t vote for politicians they don’t trust, or that are owned by others, suggesting large numbers of Clinton’s party may not vote with proper demotivation.


Clinton: Untimely disclosures of questionable past decisions or deals related to her tenure or getting the nomination. Husband’s behavior/history. Overconfidence. Bernie Sanders.   Donald Trump suddenly pivoting to the middle, or manipulating Clinton into a big mistake. Bad VP pick.

Trump: Elizabeth Warren (her attacks have been particularly effective, and Trump has been ineffective against her). Twitter + Tweeting without thinking. Untimely disclosure of a damning business practice. Republican Party. Bush family. News services. Overconfidence. Clinton suddenly becoming strategic, or a Clinton supporter manipulating Trump to make a big mistake. Massively underfunding the campaign. Bad VP pick.

So who wins?

That actually isn’t the purpose of this exercise. It is to point out to a product owner what parts of the solution needs to be fixed, what threats need to be mitigated, and what parts need to be supported and not broken. It forms the basis of a strategic plan. If you build a plan without doing this, you end up either screwing up something that didn’t need to be fixed or not addressing something that does.   By the way if you match the threats to the weaknesses you tend to highlight the things you need to fix first.

Now on paper Clinton is sure to win. She has the money, the experience and her party is behind her.   However, Brexit showcases that with a populist event you can pretty much throw the “on paper” conclusions out the window.

So I’d put it this way, if Clinton can correct her trust issues with voters, keep Bill from creating another scandal, and get those voters motivated to vote, she can’t be beat (head to head, with equal turn out, she has more voters). If Trump can stop his unforced errors, pick a VP that can offset Warren but still appeal to the middle, and make Clinton look even more untrustworthy (so a critical mass of her voters stay home) his win will be certain. Depending on who I was doing this report for, that would basically be my recommendation.  

And that is basically how you do a SWOT analysis. What do you think?


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