As we move ever closer to the 2020 US presidential election, it feels as though with each passing day the result becomes harder to predict. Both incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have their flaws, and for many Americans the decision on who to vote for has never been more difficult.
In Trump’s recent speech on the final night of the Republican Convention, he was quick to put the sword in Biden. “This election will decide whether we save the American dream,” the President said, “or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny. Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens.”
It was strong language, but then Biden has been similarly forthright in his criticism of his opponent, launching a similar verbal attack on Trump earlier in the month. “What we know about this president is that if he’s given four more years, he’ll be what he’s been for the last four years,” Biden said, “a president who takes no responsibility, refuses to lead, blames others, cosies up to dictators and fan the flames of hate and division.”
It’s a bitter tussle for the White House this time around, as it always looked likely to be given the divide which exists in America among so many people. The latest US election odds show Biden to be the slight favourite, but with November not far away, it feels increasingly as though this election could be a toss of a coin.
Both men have their strengths, and both their weak spots. Trump has overseen a genuine boost in the US economy in his term in office, before the coronavirus hit of course, and many may feel that as the country recovers from the impact of the virus, Trump may be the best man to get the economy moving again given his business acumen and track record.
On the other hand, it’s clear that Trump’s presidency goes far beyond mere policies. The President’s forthright nature and his tendency to speak his mind at all costs has caused controversy, and his presence on Twitter has, to some people’s minds, stirred the melting pot as far as division among the American public is concerned. Some will see a vote for Biden as a vote for a return towards normalcy in US politics.
But then, Biden too has his critics, and while he may have the experience of serving for eight years as Barack Obama’s vice-president, questions remain over whether the Democratic contender would have what it takes to serve as President at a time when there is so much bitterness in the US. In selecting running mate Kamala Harris, he has given himself a chance of securing younger voters, and this could make all the difference come November.
Trump will be cursing his luck as the election approaches. Before the entirely unforeseen issue of the coronavirus emerged and dominated political policy all over the world, the President seemed to be in a strong position to earn another four years in office. Now, things look increasingly uncertain, and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top come Election Day.