The race to the White House is heating up, just over two months to go until the 2020 US Elections get underway and the nation casts ballots for the 46th president of the United States. Will Trump defy the odds once again to win re-election? Or Will Biden succeed Trump as the nation’s commander in chief?
Less than a week ago, former vice president Joe Biden accepted the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Now, he’s in prime position to give president Donald Trump a run for his money in the 2020 US Elections.
As President Trump prepares to formally accept the Republican nomination tonight, staffers for three previous GOP nominees have released letters blasting Trump and endorsing Democrat Joe Biden in the November election. https://t.co/HcTIBR7g3u
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) August 27, 2020
As it stands, the 77-year-old Democratic presidential hopeful is favored by the odds and the punditocracy to succeed Donald Trump as America’s 46 president. Prominent national polls have Biden in the lead over Trump, on average by 9 percentage points, or thereabouts. Similarly, respected political forecasters are conservatively projecting a victory for the Democrats in November.
And yet, according to the latest national polling figures, Biden has lost some ground to Trump – in the region of 1 to 3 percentage points. Back in July, Biden was enjoying a double-digit advantage over Trump in national polls.
Of course, it’s not a huge drop but a perceptible shift nonetheless. Equally, a perceptible improvement in Trump’s ratings, which points to a level of stabilization that could be of some concern to the Biden camp. Bearing in mind it’s timing: right before the DNC, just on the heels of announcing California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, and just over two months before the elections.
Biden made his case to become America’s president on the last day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) – a virtual event broadcast to the nation over the course of four days, held in an empty ballroom, in an abundance of caution due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Biden characterized the fight for the White House as a “battle for the soul of this nation.”
“It’s time for people to come together,” said Biden. “This is not a partisan moment; this must be an American moment.”
He spoke of his campaign being an opportunity for the nation to heal, to reform, to unite, to “be a path of hope and light.”
Trump’s reaction to Biden’s speech came midway. Taking to Twitter, Trump dismissed his rival’s promises as nothing more than “just words.”
In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2020
In Trump, Biden faces a president whose central rationale – a booming US economy – has been decimated by a devastating and utterly unprecedented global pandemic. Whose first term in office appears to be boiling down to a referendum on his administration’s handling of a series of crises that have gripped the nation over the last six months.
The combination of crises – public health crisis and economic crisis – only served to heighten underlying socio-economic tensions that ultimately erupted into civil unrest across the country following the catalyzing police killing of George Floyd. America was, too, in the grips of an existential crisis.
The US isn’t the only nation to be facing a confluence of crises: public health, the economy, soaring unemployment, race relations and public safety – and, perhaps, even democracy itself. Most countries around the world have been touched by one or more of these overlapping series of crises, but not all are in the midst of an election year.
Biden capitalized on the turbulent climate between May and June. Riding a wave of national momentum sparked by civil unrest, Biden widened his advantage over Trump in national polls, nudging ahead by more than 11 points at one point in time. Subsequently, he overtook Trump in the betting as well.
Since August, a perceptible shift has occurred in the polls and betting. Biden has seen his figures fall in both aspects. Although Biden continues to lead Donald Trump in polls and amongst forecasters, the gap has narrowed considerably. So too has the gap in the odds, drawing closer to a 50-50 race as it currently stands.
The coronavirus outbreak continues to cast a large shadow over the 2020 presidential election, as the crises that are interlinked with the pandemic. Who wins the 2020 elections really matters because it’s a pivotal occasion in American history and the vote will decide the course and the future of this nation.