US Presidential Elections 2020: Stable yet volatile – Analysis of countdown to November
Donald Trump’s presidency has not been anything less than a rollercoaster ride. The disruption and turmoil that was witnessed in this presidency tenure has been astonishingly unprecedented. We have seen everything in last four years and more so in the current year – climate change denial, immigrants crisis, Black Lives Matter widespread protests, impeachment, revelations regarding his statements for military and servicemen, worst pandemic and failure to tackle in a responsible way. However, there have been certain ups as well – the initial economic boost and the latest, playing a catalyst in achieving the historic UAE-Israel peace agreement. But one thing that has remained stable has been his support, a remarkable support to that.
When we talk about the approval ratings and polls during presidential race, those of Donald Trump have been swinging narrowly between 40%-45% against his opponent Democratic nominee Joe Biden. This is directly indicative of his support stability and also the lapse in his supporter numbers as compared to Biden. The latest ‘scandalous’ revelation through Bob Woodward book that Trump knew of severity of coronavirus but he chose to told Americans the exact opposite, has the potential to break pattern of his supporters swinging towards him after all has been said and done. This and the remarks he made unapologetically on veterans and servicemen can be the deciding factors in November. But then again, they might not. Such is the unpredictability of 2020 US Presidential Elections.
The stability and volatility of the supporters and opposition of Trump is capable of shifting in transitional fashion. Metrics like peace, demography, cultural change, and economy can be the deciding factors but the manner in which Trump has managed to pull a major chunk of his original anti-Trump voters and also push away life-long Republicans has made the predictability very difficult. It can go either way. The contrasting stands and ideologies of Trump and Biden present a clear choice but also overlapping voters. Trump has managed to strike the right nerve here – by flinching the cultural war he might be actually able to win a share of electorate that are actually more conservative in a racist, sexist and xenophobic category of views. But it can also push away the group of Republicans who are unable to stomach the cultural war and wont shy away from voting a Democrat.
The campaign that began officially after National Conventions too showed Trump trailing behind Biden with lower approval ratings. The controversies and revelations surfacing every day from then on have only been increasing the difference in ratings. Where Biden chose to stay away from physically appearing in Democratic National Convention due to pandemic precautions, Trump’s campaign just waived off any such precautions and went completely off the books with pomp and show and held Republican National Conference at the White House with a large group, no masks and no physical distancing. A super-spreader event!
Even after being criticized heavily for such a reckless move, Trump’s campaign has been consistent with such rallies sanse any precautions. The most drastic one was the indoor rally held in a manufacturing unit in Henderson, Nevada just outside Las Vegas. This will be capsizing another chunk of electorate away from him, which he definitely cannot afford.
Biden on the other hand has been very Presidential and showcased everything what a president must have. From showing empathy to the rising violence and BLM protests across the US to being considerate of public during rallies and following all coronavirus measures. He has consistently maintained an upper hand in the presidential race till now. He is evidently leading in five swing states – Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida. But the lead is not large enough to guarantee a win for Biden in November. The swing states have potential and tendency to lean to Republican side. A slight glitch can help Trump win 270 Electoral College votes.
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