Biden Is Leading The Election 2020 Race But His Victory Is Uncertain
The race for the White House could well be seen as unpredictable. To start with, it is a ‘novel’ election itself, taking place amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. How people feel about this COVID-19 situation, its management and [failed] prevention in the U.S. with over 200,000 lives lost would definitely weigh on voter opinion. In this context quoting Reuters – “A Reuter/Ipsos poll taken Friday and Saturday after the president tested positive for the Coronavirus found Biden leading Trump by 10 percentage points nationally and that nearly two third of Americans thought Trump probably would not have been infected if he had taken the virus more seriously.”
It is good that President Trump was out of the hospital quite soon after given remdesiver- an antiviral drug. For COVID-19, a vaccine is still in research stage. It was in the news that a vaccine would come about by late October but that hasn’t happened. An ‘election vaccine’ phrase was coined by some.
In addition, apart from COVID-19, there are other issues that would influence voter opinion and the economy is one of them. The onset of the pandemic resulted in an unprecedented ‘economic shock’ in the U.S. and before the COVID era, the economy was doing well under the Trump administration (Jobs were generated and stocks were good). But it has also been said that it was attributed to the Obama government. With this COVID-19 situation, more than ten million people in the U.S got unemployed and this factor could have effect on election 2020. Then credible studies have expressed that a lot of people of moderate and less income in the U.S are below the asset poverty threshold. Many of them live on month to month (salary) income. The question is, do they have any money left to invest in stocks?
Reportedly, the stocks are booming; also reiterated by Trump in a debate aired on television, “Stock Market numbers are very close to record reach.” Joe Biden responded, “Stock brokers and heads strong managers did not build this country. You built this country, the great American Middle Class.”
As popularly said, ‘the stock is not economy’. Therefore, a robust stock market does not establish that the economy is doing very well. Also it cannot equate with providing ‘jobs’ to overcome unemployment and increasing the wages of the strata that are not rich and have no savings.
Apart from economy and the COVID-19 situation, other issues are healthcare, environment, inequities and importantly, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ phenomenon becoming more popular in not only the U.S but internationally after the death of George Floyd. A lot of protests took place which included both African Americans and White Americans, often carrying placards stating ‘I can’t breathe’. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton expressed in the ‘Late Late Show with James Corden’, “One of the worst things last night was Trump basically refusing to denounce white supremacy.”
With just a few days left to Election Day, its being said that Biden has a slight lead over President Trump. Nonetheless, this does not guarantee an election win. As in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes but still lost since within the election system in the U.S., it is the Electoral College which is the deciding factor. Whoever succeeds in acquiring 270 out of 538 electoral votes gets the White House.
The election hinges on the battleground states, which characteristically have the potential of “swing’. Therefore, the big parties have all eyes on these states.
Furthermore, within the election system, all the states in America (except two) have a winner-takes-all method, which would mean whoever wins a higher percentage of electoral votes assigned to a state, he will acquire all the remaining electoral votes of the state. After all, no one votes the losing side.
States get more electoral votes based on their large populations. The state of California has 55 electoral votes, even winning by any margin in California would deliver the winning candidate this large number. It was in 2016 that Hillary Clinton got all 55 electoral votes in California. Then this state is inclined to Democrats. And the state of Texas tilts towards Republicans. Nonetheless, there are third party and independent candidates who can potentially play the role of ‘spoiler’, which could help one of the main parties to win causing the other to lose. It is said that Jill Stein caused Hillary Clinton to lose the presidency in 2016. Third party voting impacted the results in three states. That is Clinton lost Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by one point each. And in Michigan, Hillary Clinton lost by even less than a percentage point.
Some recent analysis suggests that six states appear to be battleground (or swing) states in 2020, and they also carry a good amount of electoral votes. That being Florida having 29, Pennsylvania 20, Arizona 11, North Carolina 15, Wisconsin 10 and Michigan with 16.
Biden’s position appearing a little better than Trump in polls does not establish anything. Because nothing is clear until Election Day and ultimately, the battleground states will be deciding who wins or loses. How many Americans would actually vote? That matters as well. And this time around, if the Republicans happen to pull another ‘Jill Stein’ moment as in 2016, they could win. Thus far, Joe Biden of the Democrats is slightly ahead and if he wins, ‘Here’s to Change,’ would be the celebrations for Democrats in this close race of elections 2020.