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Who is the next American president?

Apr 13,2020 - Last updated at Apr 13,2020

The 2020 US presidential elections race is now apparent: A dependable Democrat against a Republican leader. When US Senator Bernie Sanders announced in a surprising step on April 8, 2020 his formal withdrawal from the competition race against the incumbent Joe Biden on the leadership of the Democratic Party before the American presidential elections, which are scheduled to be held on November 3, Sanders has paved the way for Biden, former Vice President, to compete with President Donald Trump. Sanders declared his line-up with Biden, calling him "a respectable man", and called on party advocates and followers to back him against Trump.

Biden, the 2020 Democratic front-runner, criticised Trump many times in the past three months, asking him to “stop talking and start listening to the medical experts” to better resolve the issue of COVID-19 in the country, which has had severe repercussions on the American people and economy. Biden has blasted the Trump administration for not taking instant action by invoking the Defence Production Act since the outbreak of the COVID-19 to force firms and companies to produce personal and medical protection equipment.

Today, with the impact of the corona outbreak, the US is undergoing a state of uncertainty, especially in terms of fear of an economic recession that may be worse than the financial crisis of 2008. This crunch is not good news for the Democrats; yet, it appears as one of the most important indicators that after four years of Trump’s tenure, this calamity would give the Democrats hope that the Republican president can be defeated when Americans cast their votes for Biden against Trump. However, that is not an easy task, as many political experts in the US believe that Trump will be re-elected for a second term, as Americans care more about domestic issues, including a better economy and business. 

On November 3, the US is preparing for presidential elections between Biden (77) and Trump (73). Trump is looking forward to winning a second term in spite of a wave of criticism after his administration had failed to handle the corona crisis. Recent opinion polls showed that American voters prefer Biden to Trump; yet, the coming two months are very critical in the American political landscape, depending on how the American government would bail out the country and the people, with a surge in unemployment rate that has surpassed that of the Great Recession. If Trump plays it well in the coming few months, he would win over Biden.

At the same time, if Biden wins, he would win in two cases: The first is if he adopts a comprehensive health insurance plan for all Americans; and if COVID-19 strategy adopted by the Trump administration fails to address the concerns of Americans and bail out the economy from the state of recession.

After Sanders’ withdrawal, the road became paved for Biden who has recently launched a campaign of criticism against Trump, accusing him of dragging the US to the threshold of war. Though Biden has the capacity to be the 46th potential president of the United States, Trump has also high stakes to be re-elected.

From now on, Biden’s concern will be on public competition and on national rhetoric to encounter Trump. There is no doubt that the confrontation between Biden and Trump will not be easy. While many see that Trump's protectionist policy isolated the United States from its allies, some American outlets have already strengthened his status and position. For his part, Biden has nothing to do except to focus on playing on Trump's failure to deal with many internal and external issues. One of these issues will be Trump administration’s failure to deal with COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden's competitive advantage against Trump is his experience in governance and national security policies. Serving the country for over 36 years in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in other top positions, Biden is the only candidate who can compete with Trump and highlight his flaws in the national security decision-making process. This advantage is also one of Biden's loopholes, as he represents the Democratic Party, whose base is getting younger with time and leaning more to the left.

The popular base of both Trump and Biden is the greatest challenge facing the two men. Thus, Biden faces a harsh confrontation to avoid Hillary Clinton’s mistakes in 2016 when she nominated herself against Trump. However, Biden faces a double challenge at present: Inability to communicate directly with his constituents due to the lockdown and social distancing because of COVID-19; and the difficulty to gain more voters due to the unprecedented crisis, which poses high risk to people’s health and livelihoods.

On the other hand, Trump is already grabbing everyone's attention and making crucial decisions for Americans, noting that former president George H.W. Bush’s popularity rose to 89 per cent during the first Gulf War, and George Bush Jr’s popularity rocketed up to 90 per cent on September 11 attacks in 2001. At present, Trump’s popularity amongst Americans stands at 55 per cent. This would be a leverage for Biden; yet, Trump can be re-elected due to lots of domestic issues because he has the key to resolve them at the very last moment. 

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