Trump or Biden ?

Publish: 9:36 PM, September 19, 2020 | Update: 9:36:PM, September 19, 2020

The US Presidential election is only six weeks away and tensions are rising about the probable winner. Normally, the incumbent Republican Presidential candidate , Donald Trump, should have no difficulty winning over his Democratic rival banking on his undeniable huge positive accomplishments specially in relation to the economy.

But he also suffers from somenegative image problems which have harassed his Presidency in the first term. Fanning these negatives skillfully, the Democrats have been able to muster a big enough coalition of the discontented that presently allows them a narrow lead over Trump in the opinion polls. But could it be that this lead will vaporize as the election day comes nearer ?

Four years ago this month, it seemed likely that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election. Clinton’s national lead over Donald Trump had repeatedly widened and narrowed, suggesting that, depending on where the popular mood would be on Election Day, her victory would similarly be either wide or narrow. State polling, though, consistently showed that she had enough of a lead in enough states that she would manage to win both the popular and electoral votes.

But what happened in the end ? Donald Trump just came from behind like in the desperate dash in a hundred meter sprint athletic event and touched the ribbon moments before the opponent could do so. Could a similar scenario be replicated just before the November 4 election day this year when the Trump campaign will create a last minute groundswell of emotion for Trump to clinch the Presidency once again for him ? Election experts who have been studying the two Trump campaigns–2016 and now 20020-say that there is the distinct possibility of such a repeat.

Besides, they say that the patriotic fervor which Trump has created in his present campaign is stronger than even last time. Not only his core supporters will rally massively this time to ensure a Trump win considering this to be their patriotic duty. Even voters outside the ring of his core supporters or non committed ones – so far-might feel sufficiently persuaded in the end to tilt for him thinking that the sustainability of USA as the only superpower would end if Trump is not re-elected.

Thousands of Americans have been leaving high tax states (such as New York, California and also Connecticut and New Jersey) to move to low tax states (such as Texas, Florida and Nevada.) People decide how to vote for all sorts of reasons. But these new voters are people who have gone to the trouble of moving house and relocating hundreds of miles to pay less tax. They are more likely to plump for Trump than Biden. Trump has been strident in his plan to more and more cut taxes.

Trump was well suited as an insurgent. His message weak leadership was leaving Americans vulnerable to crime, terrorism, illegal immigration and unfair trade deals, resonated. And now he is seeking to downplay fears of coronavirus in order to keep the economy going.

My bold prediction is that Trump will be re-elected. Partly that is based on the US economy already doing well under the circumstances and reviving more by the time of the polling day and the coronavirus plague receding – both these propositions admittedly seem fraught with not so much uncertainty.

As polling day nears, the focus will be less on whether voters are favourable or unfavourable to Trump and more on the choice between him and Biden. Trump is 74-years-old. Biden is 77. Will Americans feel it is time to make way for an older man? Perhaps not .Also, while Biden comes across as a pleasant fellow, he conveys weakness and confusion. Keeping Biden low profile for the rest of the campaign surely would not work. Biden will probably lose the TV debates against Trump. But for Biden to refuse to take part would be even worse.

You might not like Trump, but at least he is not a pushover. The warning that the moderate Biden could be manipulated by more radical elements could gain traction. You might prefer Biden to Trump as your next door neighbour, but who could be relied upon to defend the national interest? None better than Trump.

Trump stood by Mount Rushmore and declared: “Today, we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. I am here as your President to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defaced, their legacy will never, ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.”

In the past, that pride in US history would not have been felt controversial. It’s not that Biden would be considered to approve of pulling down statues of Washington or Lincoln. The question is how firmly he can repudiate those in his team with such sympathies. For Biden to staunchly proclaim his patriotism would risk alienating many of his activists is a difficult choice. But any ambiguity on the matter surely disqualifies him. As the culture wars become ever more antagonistic, more of these AmericanLeft appear to swing voters as anti-American. It would be hard for Biden to win in November if he is tarnished with that image.