It is twenty days until Election Day and the fate of America is decided. Every US presidential election is important, but pundits and citizens alike are saying this is the most important election in their lifetime.
Who will take the prize – the bombastic, orange-tinted man who cannot get enough of Twitter or the doddery, shielding old-man who is stuck in his basement and cannot get enough of his mask?
It is a clash of two very different men and very different approaches to campaigning in the middle of a pandemic. Trump, the business tycoon who wants to get America working again and bring back the best economy on record, encourages people to get back out into society and carry on as normal, and of course you can social-distance and wear masks if you want to.
Biden, the career politician with 47 years in the Senate, who is the same age as Reagan when he left office and commonly known for gaffes, pledges to bring back a sense of decency to the White House yet will keep everyone in a semi-lockdown state and insists on mask-wearing and social distancing no matter where you are.
It is the handling of the economy versus the handling of Covid.
All the while playing in the background to this election season are Trump flotillas filling the canal waterways of Florida, 10-mile long Trump caravans in Oregon, tens of thousands gathering in Washington, DC to pray for the President, as well as statue toppling of American icons, and new terms in the mainstream such as “systemic racism” and “cancel culture”, plus riots, looting and burning of our great American cities such as Portland, Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, and Chicago. The country is in a visible culture war, which has been percolating for decades and now has bubbled to the surface under the pressure of a global pandemic.
The final month of the campaign launched with the first debate, which only seemed to keep the status quo and mildly benefited Biden in the polls. Lagging in the polls, Trump needed the debate to be a slamdunk night. Biden needed to still have a pulse at the end of it and show he can talk without a teleprompter. The bar was definitely set lower for Biden, which he did surpass, thanks in part to Trump’s constant interruptions. Trump needed to show focus and stay on message, which he found difficult to do.
However, Trump was able to get out the message the media does not like to cover and to rattle Biden. Trump asked legitimate questions of Biden such as why won’t he release his Supreme Court picks and announce his stance on expanding the Supreme Court. Does he support the Green New Deal? He also brought up the cronyism and corruption of son Hunter Biden when Dad was Vice President, and most importantly, tried to get him to condemn the violent, Left-wing group Antifa.
He was successful to some extent. Biden lost his cool and told him to “shut up,” called him a “racist” and a “clown.” Biden said Antifa is “an idea, and not a group” while police officers were being attacked by chemical sprays and one sent to hospital that very day in Portland, Oregon by organised Antifa protestors. Naturally though, the media only focused on Trump’s gaffes.
Only a couple days later, the President tests positive for Covid, and his campaign miraculously can press reset. The American icon that is Donald Trump takes on the CCP virus, only to defeat it in less than a week with an American, trial antiviral cocktail. A modern-day American legendary tale for the history books.
This also cancels the second debate since the President did not want a virtual contest where Biden could more easily cheat with cue cards and teleprompters.
It is definitely a loss for the American people now only being able to see two debates, but let’s not deceive ourselves that there are massive amounts of undecided voters out there. Pundits and pollsters say there is anything from 3 per cent, 6 per cent, 11 per cent to 14 per cent of undecided voters. It is hard to imagine anyone is an undecided voter in the age of Trump, and after a two-year Democratic primary and now general election campaign.
It appears that Trump’s campaign is not concerned with the undecideds and women in the suburbs, who lost the Republicans the House of Representatives in 2018. He is doubling down on the base that elected him four years ago – the white working class – and expanding a lead with minorities. He wants to make those red counties, blood red.
Based on Republican voter registration numbers in the battleground states, he might just be doing that. In Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, Republican voter registrations have all increased over the last three years, eating away at the lead Democrats have in those states. According to Trafalgar Group polling, Trump is by far exceeding his 2016 numbers with minorities in the swing states.
Biden is hoping groups of disgruntled Republicans led by Never Trumpers like The Lincoln Project and the national security professionals who signed a declaration against Trump, coupled with white, educated, suburban women and the Democratic base, will get him over the line. The sad thing for Biden is that most of his support comes from people who are not enthusiastic for him but are united against Trump. Will this translate to people going to the polls in droves for the former Vice President?
Does disliking the other guy get people to vote in a pandemic or does being motivated and enthusiastic for a candidate make you more likely to vote?
As of today, Joe Biden has the edge with a 10-point lead in national poll averages and a 4-point lead in the battleground states. But if you are looking at the rallies and events for Trump compared with Biden, you do not believe the polls. It is anyone’s game. Let us hope that it is a decisive victory for either side in this cultural civil war.