In a period of increasing uncertainty, it seems like the US presidential election has come at either the perfect time or the worst time, depending on your point of view. Current President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are set to go head-to-head in November to see whether Trump will earn another four years in office, or if it is time for another chance in the White House. The next president odds currently place Biden as the slight favorite, but this year’s election looks like an increasingly difficult one to predict.
In many ways, it feels like yesterday that Trump defeated Hillary Clinton against the odds to bring the Republican Party back in power. The 74-year-old’s first term in office hasn’t exactly gone smoothly, with numerous protests against his leadership being held, along with the lingering threat of impeachment which has dogged him since he was elected. The President has frequently found himself swimming against the tide as far as public opinion is concerned.
That said, Trump still boasts a large support base who you feel will support him through thick and thin. It wasn’t by luck that he got elected – it’s clear that both his policies and outspoken rhetoric struck a chord for swathes of the American public, and the question is whether or not that support is still present with another election on the horizon.
The President looked in a strong position back in the early part of the year as far as the upcoming election was concerned, but then the coronavirus pandemic took hold and threw a spanner in the works. It’s fair to say that Trump’s handling of the crisis has been unorthodox at times, and although politicians across the world have struggled in their attempts to contain the virus, few countries have felt its effects more keenly than the US.
Biden’s aim in the run-up to the election will be to convince the American people that he has what it takes to lead the nation smoothly away from this crisis and towards a period of prosperity. At 77, turning 78 in November, Biden is over three years older than Trump, but in running mate Kamala Harris he has a chance to appeal to a younger demographic of the voter. Harris also ran for the Democratic nomination but was unsuccessful, and now she is hoping to become the first female vice-president in the history of the United States by helping Biden to victory.
It’s already been as bitter an election build-up as you could expect, with both sides trading verbal barbs ahead of what looks set to be an incredibly close election. Although Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, Trump’s win was relatively convincing in terms of the Electoral College votes, and so Biden’s aim will be to curry favor in the crucial swing states that will determine the outcome of this election.
It’s hard to say who has the upper hand at the moment, and we may not know for sure until those votes start rolling in come Election Day. For the neutral observer, it’s set to be an intriguing battle for the White House, at a time when the US craves a strong, inspirational leader as President.