What Are Biden’s Chances of Winning the Upcoming US Presidential Election?
- 19 September 2020
Ambiguity surrounds the much-anticipated outcome of the upcoming US presidential election. The central question relates to the prospects of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, as his victory could radically transform US policies, particularly its foreign policy.
A number of public opinion polls have been conducted in the run-up to the elections, which are due to take place in November. However, the results have largely been indecisive, favoring neither President Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, nor Biden.
Even when polls suggest a win for Biden, his margin of success is very slim. However, even though public opinion polls can be an important measure of the nationwide popularity of a candidate, they are not ideal tools for predicting the outcome of elections.
An important factor related to the issue of opinion polls and their reliability in predicting the results of the US election is that the number of votes a candidate receives is less important than the state in which he wins. The nature of the American electoral system means the vote takes place at two levels; at the level of the popular vote and at the representative level. A candidate could enjoy wide popularity and receive the majority of votes across the country, but might not win the presidency. Hillary Clinton experienced this during the last US presidential election. Trump won the presidency with 46.1 percent of the vote, despite the fact Clinton secured 48.2 percent of the popular vote. Trump won because he had 290 votes in the Electoral College (more than the 50 percent share needed to win the election) compared to Clinton’s share of 218.
Biden boasts a wealth of political expertise that should give him an advantage. He held the office of Vice President during Barack Obama’s presidency, and has been active in American politics since the 1970s. As a relative newcomer to US politics, Trump lacks this political expertise, hailing from the world of business.
Even though Trump has held the office of the president for four years, this does not guarantee him an advantage. On the contrary, his handling of issues has shown a lack of political experience. This is clearly evident in his unpredictable political discourse, while his foreign policy approach has caused disputes between Washington and many countries, including traditional US allies in Europe. As for his political rhetoric, most notable are his statements which have been perceived to be racist; not only directed to the outside world, but also to ethnicities closer to home. Furthermore, the Trump administration has been heavily criticized for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, undermining any economic achievements previously claimed by Trump.
However, perceptions of Biden’s character have detracted from his rich political expertise. He lacks the presence and charisma that played a major role in Barack Obama’s victory. Furthermore, despite the fact he is almost the same age as Trump, Biden has been accused of being less fit for office.
In conclusion, it can be said that factors favoring a Biden victory are not related to his character and experience, rather the failures of Trump’s administration. These failures constitute fatal errors in domestic policies made during his first term in office.