The 59th election of the United States of America is just days away. Polls suggest the issues we Americans care about the most are COVID, the economy, health care, and the Supreme Court. Our choice is between the two oldest candidates to ever seek the office of the presidency. In a “normal” year, the circumstances and outcome would be easier to understand and predict, but as we all know by now, 2020 has been quite the opposite of normal.
A COVID surge is weighing on the country as the election approaches. This may turn out to be Trump’s 2020 Achilles heel. His closing strategy seems focused in on the economic recovery and downplaying the virus. One of his most common phrases these days is to say the country is “rounding the corner” even though COVID hospitalizations are rising in 36 states and we just hit the highest seven-day average (new cases) ever. Medical experts tell us this is the beginning of what could be the most challenging time yet, with colder weather on the way.
In terms of fundraising, Biden holds a significant advantage, having raised more than $1 billion in just the last four months. As far as key demographics, suburban women voters, are supposedly leaning towards Biden this time. Overall, the average lead in the national polls for Biden is about 8-9 points (Hillary only had a 3-4 points lead heading into the election). Have the polls been wrong before? Well, we all remember 2016 where just under 80,000 total votes in three swing states decided the election. Trump is a fighter, and some say if anyone can pull off another Electoral College upset it is him.
There are multiple factors that make this election very difficult to predict. For example, a record 66 million people have already voted, two-thirds of them by mail, so a record turnout is anticipated. At the same time, our President has continued to sow mistrust in our election system with claims of fraud. Will that lead to numerous legal battles with the outcome potentially being decided by the Supreme Court? How long will it take to declare a winner? Will Americans take to the streets? Oh, and throw in some social media misinformation campaigns and international interference just for the fun of it.
As with everything else this year, there may be no shortages of surprises in days ahead. Ideally, we would see a decisive victory one way or the other to minimize the chances of a post-Election Day nightmare. However, it’s not difficult to envision a scenario where the results are contested in the courts well into December or even January, and we see violent unrest on our streets. 2020 would have it no other way.
David Saraiva, Co-Founder & Executive Producer International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) – Florida, USA