Trump or Biden? The most incredible presidential election in the history of the United States is being played this Tuesday, November 3, against a backdrop of tension, violence and a Covid-19 pandemic which has killed more than 230,000 in the country. The epidemic weighs on the vote – Democrat Joe Biden castigates the “criminal management” of the scourge by Republican Donald Trump – the fear of contagion having favored a record number of postal votes or anticipated: 105 million Americans ( out of some 230 million voters) have already taken part in the election. Nothing is played out, so much the complexity of the American electoral system, juxtaposition of 50 state-by-state ballots in which senators, deputies, sheriffs, etc. are also elected, together with the passionate side of the campaign, can make the polls lie. . Decryption.
1. Is Biden really a favorite?
Yes… and it could be his Achilles heel. “Be careful not to relax considering that the race is already won, let us never forget that the polls gave Hillary Clinton a winner four years ago”, told Le Parisien – Today in France Chris Van Hollen, Democratic senator of the Maryland. Certainly, but in 2016, 48 hours before the ballot, an NBC poll attributed 44% of the vote to Clinton against 40% to Trump. The same NBC survey this time gives 52% for Biden against 42% for Trump. This considerable difference, confirmed by most institutes, places the advantage of the Democrat beyond the margin of error (due in particular to the complexity of the electoral system).
“The main unknown remains the participation, those who will go physically to the polls on Tuesday,” insists the senator. To mobilize, the Democratic candidate, long much less active in the field than his rival, has multiplied: a meeting with Barack Obama in Michigan, two in one afternoon in Pennsylvania … Each time, he hammers the same message in this country divided as never before: “I will be a unifying president, the president of the Union”.
2. Can Trump win at the finish?
Difficult… but not impossible. Admittedly, the traditional “October surprise”, this turnaround that occurred more than once in the home stretch of the US presidential election, did not take place. But what if she arrived this time on Tuesday, November 3? Trumpist supporters across the country have all told us of their belief in a “hidden vote” for the incumbent president. “We do not say in the polls or around us that we vote Trump, because we are afraid to pass for a racist or something else,” says Joni Leavy, 60, a New York municipal employee recently crossed on a pilgrimage to the Trump House in Pennsylvania.
More pragmatic, his campaign strategists have multiplied the candidate’s meetings to the end in key states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, this Monday, the eve of the election – at a staggering rate for a septuagenarian rising from Covid-19. Trump insists on the return of economic growth, the defense of the Second Amendment to the Constitution on weapons, the continuation of oil activity and the supposed “senility” of his opponent whom he nicknamed “Sleepy Joe” (Joe the sleeping). On Monday, a poll showing Trump’s strong comeback in Iowa caused cold sweats in the Democratic camp …
3. In which states is the election taking place?
Each presidential election has its “swing states” creating a surprise. In 2016, the conquest for a few thousand votes of three Democratic strongholds – Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – opened the doors of the White House to Trump. Today, Joe Biden is ahead, but nothing is settled. Avoiding Hillary Clinton’s fault for focusing on the metropolises, Biden campaigned with his wife Jill in rural and working-class counties, frustrated at being ignored by Washington. Other crucial states, North Carolina, Ohio, and even Georgia, Florida and Texas, Republican lands where the Trump style, the ravages of the coronavirus – many retirees live in the “Sun Belt” – and the strong Hispanic community can play in Biden’s favor.
Minnesota, Democrat, where the George Floyd affair broke, this African-American killed by a police officer in May, will give a long-awaited signal. As for Florida, a huge provider of large voters, it is a test: if Biden wins, it will be the signal for a “blue wave” in the country. Particular case, Arizona, stronghold “red” (republican), with changing sociology and where the widow of John McCain, Republican opponent of Barack Obama in 2008, took fiercely party for… Biden!
PODCAST. Trump or Biden: trip to these key states that could tip the election
4. When will the results be known?
If the gap is as large as the polls predict, the name of the next president should be known Tuesday night to Americans. If it is tight and you have to wait for the counting of the ballots by correspondence, it can last … several days, even weeks, like twenty years ago.
VIDEO. Last meetings for Donald Trump and Joe Biden before the election
5. Will Trump accept defeat if he is beaten?
The outgoing president has stirred up trouble by declaring that, except in cases of fraud, there is no reason why he should not win! Pro-Trump activist groups plan to monitor polling stations on Tuesday. The Republican Party has hired a battalion of jurists, ready to nitpick on everything, trying to cancel wherever they can the “absentee ballot”, votes by correspondence, rather favorable to the Democrats. Litigation can last several weeks, as in 2000 between Al Gore and George W. Bush, before being decided by the Supreme Court… dominated by conservative judges. “However, notes a European diplomat, it is difficult to see how Trump, in the event of a clear defeat, could cling to his chair in the Oval Office. “
6. Can we fear violence the day after the results?
A clear signal proves that the fear of violence is there: this Monday, November 2, security around Trump’s White House was reinforced by the addition of a row of barricades. “I have never seen such a strong climate of division and hatred. This country could fall into a civil war, and I am weighing my words, ”confided to us Wednesday Candice, a stay-at-home mother in Philadelphia, a city that had still experienced riots last week following an alleged police blunder. “Civil war” we have heard this phrase over and over again on our American journey. More, it should be noted, among Democratic voters than among Republicans, the former accusing the latter of fomenting it.
On the one hand, the parades of armed far-right militias or the provocations of the Proud boys, this white, racist and violent supremacist group, supporting Trump. On the other hand, the activism of the antifa movement and BLM (Black Lives Matter), ready to do battle, make this risk plausible. The climate is more than electric, as demonstrated by the harassment by Trumpist activists of a Biden-Harris campaign bus. However, it is difficult to imagine that a strong democracy with such solid institutions and an army as powerful as it is loyalist, having never given the slightest sign of political adventurism, plunges into a civil war …
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Original article by : www.leparisien.fr