Professor: 2016 election will be studied for decades

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) There are only 40 days until Americans will decide who the next President of the United States will be.

One local professor, who is nationally acclaimed for his expertise in political rhetoric, said the nation will not see another election like this again for a century.

Dr. Martin Medhurst is a Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication and Professor of Political Science at Baylor University.

He has studied the rhetoric of presidents such as George H. W. Bush and Dwight D. Eisenhower and has written or edited 13 books on both rhetoric and the importance words play during a president’s terms.

He said stylistically, the two candidates are polar opposites.

Medhurst described Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as someone who has utilized a candid and off-the-cuff approach in his speeches and campaigning.

"He does all of this in an effort to establish himself as different, someone above the norm, someone who is not a politician and who will be able to, because of that fact, bring change to Washington, D.C.,” Medhurst said.

He also said a campaign season has never seen a candidate quite like Trump who is able to turn controversy into success.

“In any other season, from any other candidate, this would have destroyed their campaign months ago,” Medhurst said.

“But instead, here we are and Trump continues to go on and has actually improved his standing.”

In contrast, Medhurst said former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton is more scripted in her rhetoric style and disciplined when choosing her words.

"She talks about her policies, her plans, her programs, and she has lists of things that go on and sometimes on and that is the mark of a policy walk,” Medhurst said.

Currently national polls show anywhere from two to twenty percent of voters are undecided.

Medhurst said undecided voters need to pay close attention to the rhetoric and words chosen by the two candidates in order to choose who they want as the next president.

“I think you should always be listening for what the overall vision the candidate has for the future of the country and what direction they want to go in and how do they will get there,” Medhurst said.

“This is going to be an election that will be written about for years and years to come and people should pay attention to it because they probably won't hear anything like this again in their lifetimes.”