Welcome to this weekly update in the run-up to the US presidential election on November 3. With this week: Donald Trump is sowing confusion about the election results and is Joe Biden not sitting at home too much?
The election news this week mainly anticipated a defeat of Donald Trump. And not so much on that defeat itself, but on what can happen next.
Trump has been asked several times whether he simply hands over power to Joe Biden in the event of an election loss. A fairly simple question, to which a simple answer never comes. The incumbent president sows mainly doubts about postal voting, which will happen more than ever this year, partly because of the corona crisis. Not that Trump actually provides proof that there is a lot of fraud with voting via the mailbox, but sowing the doubt is enough. It looks like an impending arrow on his bow to pull a moot mark in his direction.
But the doubts are about more than just the mail. Magazine The Atlantic This week discussed at length what Trump and the Republican Party can do to influence the election, as well as what Trump can do if he loses and does not want to accept it. Then it is mainly about ‘voter suppression‘(making it difficult for black and poor Americans to vote) a series of court cases after the election and if that leads to nothing: chaos on the streets.
The scenario that the elections on November 3 and its aftermath will be chaotic is becoming increasingly realistic for many commentators. And Trump is doing little to take the sting out of these fears. He feeds them earlier.
Prominent Republicans make little reassuring commitment
Republican Senate President Mitch McConnell hastened to say that, in the event of Biden’s victory, the transfer of the White House will be nonviolent. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham agreed. The question is how reassuring these promises are: McConnell, but especially Graham, show themselves when push comes to shove, always completely loyal to Trump.
This was shown, for example, in the case of the succession of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court. Prior to the 2016 elections and beyond, Republicans made it a point that a president should no longer be allowed to nominate a judge in an election year. But now, due to the death of Ginsburg, Trump can still do that before November 3 and various Republicans turned like a leaf on a tree. Also Graham, who has become very adept at finding arguments not to get out of step with Trump.
The real battle has yet to be fought in the United States Battleground States
But back to Trump and what will happen if he loses the election: is he in bad shape in the polls?
According to Fivethirtyreight, which brings together all the major polls in the US, Biden still leads with a 7.1 percentage point lead. That is roughly the same as at the beginning of September, but compared to the months before the Democrat has lost something. Although you can also say that Trump lost the ground he won in the summer. At the beginning of June, for example, Biden was 6.1 percentage points ahead.
Also in most Battleground States Biden still leads. Two examples, also based on Fivethirtyreight: in Florida and Pennsylvania Biden is ahead, but by a decreasing margin. That’s where the real battle must be fought. Biden can ask Hillary Clinton what it’s like to vote the most nationally and still lose because of the American electoral system. But overall, the Democrat can smile cautiously when he takes a look at the polls.
Joe Biden is criticized from his own party for being too invisible in campaign time (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Biden is not visible enough’
So can Biden rest on his laurels? Not quite. More and more voices are coming from the Democratic camp that Biden is not visible enough. The criticism is mainly that he is not doing enough to attract population groups such as Latinos. On AP employees of his campaign informed that he deliberately does not go out too much to show that the Democrats do take the corona crisis seriously. Trump regularly appears without a mask in front of a full house with supporters. The contrast is stark in a week when the US hit the awe-inspiring 200,000 mark crowned passed.
AP calculated that Biden has left his state of Delaware “only” eleven times since he named Kamala Harris a running mate on August 11. Trump made 24 trips during the same period, visiting 17 different states.
His challenger mainly operates from home, where he still manages to rake in quite a bit of money for his campaign. According to Politico Biden has $ 141 million more to spend than the Trump campaign until the election. Money that is used, for example, to advertise and buy in airtime for election spots.
Those commercials will no doubt fill the hectic weeks until November 3. A larger, growing proportion of Americans are now holding their hearts to the election and the weeks that will follow. How far the temperature will rise in the heated battle currently seems largely dependent on Trump’s volatility.
Thanks for your attention and see you next week! This was the last week that I, Joost Nederpelt, did the honors for Matthijs Le Loux. He will be back from vacation next week. Do you have questions about the US Presidential Race, a suggested topic or other comments? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.