US presidential elections: The Race to the Oval Office

Image source: Reuters

The most discussed topic of the year 2020 apart from the coronavirus pandemic has been the US presidential elections of 2020. With about a hundred days to go, the world is eyeing 4th November 2020. In a divided landscape and uncertain time, it is unclear as to who will win the US presidential elections.

The race to Oval Office

In the initial months, the race to become a Democratic challenger to the US President Donald Trump who was till then the possible Republican nominee was heated up. There were as many as 30 candidates vying for support in a bid to be the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. But as the dates drew closer to 4 November 2020 the race narrowed down to two, leaving Mr Joe Biden, the former vice president and Senator Bernie Sanders with Mr Sanders openly expressing his support for Biden. Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy drew the attention as he was the first openly gay major presidential candidate. But he failed to build a broad coalition. Within a week Bernie Sanders, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden.

Mr Sanders’s key issues were Medicare for all, raising the taxes on the rich and increasing the minimum wage. Biden talked about tuition-free public universities, creation of more jobs, taxing the rich; all pillars of his ‘build back better plan’ to bring the US economy back on the track.

Image source: NBC News

The path followed by Joe Biden

Although according to current polls Biden leads President Trump by eight points, it cannot be said as to who will emerge victorious in the race to the Oval Office. Former Vice President’s situation seems to be equivalent to the 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton who despite leading Mr Trump in the polls before the elections lost to him in the last battle. Biden cannot hope to win without paying any attention to the independent voters. His strategy has been to unite the internal factions within the party and now he is winning those Republicans on his side who had locked horns with Mr Trump. His first prey happens to be former Ohio governor, John Kasich, a Republican who has been vocal in advancing criticisms against President Donald Trump. He happens to be among those who are likely to support Biden’s candidacy.

Biden should revisit the idea of expanding the collision to include more women, moderate Republicans who are at displeasure with Mr Trump although having voted for him in 2016 particularly with his unresponsiveness in the wake of COVID-19. While on one hand, top US Democrats fear interference in the elections this year, Biden has pledged to see any interference as an adversary and that will strain the ties with the nation involved. Muslims in the United States see Biden as the future president and expect that they will see better days under his presidency. Muslims have been particularly irked by President Trump’s domestic and foreign policies. They believe that Biden will put them back on issues of importance as racial justice, immigration, climate change.

President Donald Trump/ Image source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A challenge to President Trump

POTUS faces a difficult time as the days draw closer to 4th November 2020. Mr Trump’s unresponsiveness following the COVID-19 outbreak, his comment that more than 50% cases of COVID-19 are harmless despite knowing the fact that more than 100,000 people have lost their lives after being infected with the coronavirus and having no accurate plan to handle the civil unrest following George Floyd’s has added to his problems. Mr Trump is not new in the club of the former  Presidents who had played the race card. He truly favours white population that is evident from his remarks, more recent being the comment he made in an interview with Fox News Sunday where he said that more whites are killed in police shootings. He needs to build his base among the blacks and facts suggest that going after shrinking base will result in his landslide defeat. President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech on the eve of Independence Day reflected his election strategy.

The book was written by his niece, Mary that reveals how her uncle became the man he is today highlights a series of revelations that could dampen Mr Trump’s chance of re-electing. He has faced criticisms that are a result of his own making. Mr Trump, unlike Mr Biden, is doing nothing to expand his support beyond his few staunch supporters. Even now many of his own party members are making statements opposite to his own. Mr Trump and his team believe that the incumbent will see the results favouring him once COVID-19 is out of the scene and once the economy shows signs of recovery. But this seems unlikely in the near future. Terry McAuliffe, Governor of  Virginia said that US President is on a sinking ship and the time is right for a storm.

In Texas, Biden leads President Trump, a state that has been the stronghold of GOP, where campaigning is barely needed to secure votes in favour of GOP. US President’s immigration policy also seems to be backfiring which is largely dictated by his racial agenda. Mr Trump should act domestically rather than focusing on severing ties with China.

Conclusion

Apart from the news that Biden leads President Trump in the polls, what is also new is Kanye West announcing his candidacy for presidential elections. Whether he is serious or it is a publicity stunt remains important to see. In a diverse country where fear and loathing dominates the scene, as a recent development, the buying of beans has become a political act. It is still unclear as to who will be the 46th president of The United States despite Biden leading Mr Trump. American society, which is currently divided over every issue ranging from gun control, immigration, the role of the government, is definitely in need of a unifying force that probably Joe Biden can provide.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Airina Kumar

Airina Kumar is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti's North America Desk

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