Over the summer a lot has been going on in America, which includes the realm of politics. As of this writing, former Vice President Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee running against incumbent President Donald Trump. Campaign messaging is already well underway, with Biden releasing ads and hosting online efforts to gain support, while Trump has already held some rallies in Tulsa and Pheonix and also released campaign ads. Though some polls differ in their numbers, a common trend shows Biden leading Trump by about 8% (these figures change depending on poll, with most polls showing some lead for Biden). In addition, Biden is leading in key battleground states Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and narrowly leading in North Carolina. Meanwhile, Trump is leading narrowly in swing state Arizona.
On August 12, after a rigorous vetting process of over 20 candidates, Joe Biden revealed that his Vice Presidential running mate will be U.S Senator Kamala Harris. Biden may have chose Harris because of her experience from running for the 2020 Democratic nomination and popularity in the Democratic party. When announcing his running mate he stated “If we’re going to get through these crises, we need to come together and unite for a better America and Kamala gets that.” This decision makes Harris the first African-American and Asian-American to be chosen as a running mate and the third woman to hold the position on a ticket overall. Other candidates that were considered were U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, and Georgia legislator Stacey Abrams. President Donald Trump will be running for a second term with the current Vice President Mike Pence.
The predictions on the topics that will come up during the election process are:
1) The current and future handling of COVID-19: As COVID-19 infection numbers continue to grow, the pandemic will most likely be the most important topic for the election. One point of contention already surfacing is Trump’s more laid-back response to the pandemic, which he described as a state-by-state issue, encouraging the country to go forward with the reopening. As a result, Trump has received a lot of backlash from the Democratic party and is beginning to receive some from the Republican Party as well. On the other hand, Joe Biden has proposed nationwide plans to increase the production of testing and PPE, as well as taking more advice from the CDC and healthcare professionals.
2) The economy: As a result of the need to quarantine and reduce nonessential activity due to the pandemic, unemployment rose to 10.4% by the end of June. The solution continuously proposed by President Trump is to reopen the nonessential businesses sooner in order to reduce the unemployment rate. Joe Biden has proposed several plans that would prioritize providing relief for non-essential workers that were laid off until reopening the economy at a later date.
3) Race relations: The murder of George Floyd and the resurfacing cases of the deaths of African-Americans like Breonna Taylor and Elijah Mcclain resulted in many protests against police brutality and calls for justice reform. This has led to different responses from Trump and Biden. The response from Trump favors law enforcement and encourages police response to the protests, while Biden favors reform of the justice system in the hopes of decreasing police brutality and systemic oppression.
As the summer closes with the Democratic and Republican nominees being locked in, there are alot of questions that surround the 2020 presidential election. How will each candidate proceed in their campaigns amid the pandemic? Will events, such as the presidential debates, take place on a virtual format? Will the candidates change any of their current approaches to the pandemic, financial crisis or race relations? For these questions, we have to wait until the election gets closer.