Written by Pablo Reid (News Writer)
Now that both presidential primaries are effectively over, Joe Biden and Donald Trump will be the presidential candidates in the 2020 election, which will take place on November 3rd, if everything goes right. Both candidates have the majority of their party’s support, but the year has not been easy: each has had his particular issues surface and resurface, controversies that could harm their respective campaigns.
For Joe Biden, who still hasn’t nominated a running mate, the issue came in the form of an accusation of sexual harassment. Tara Reade, who worked for him in 1993, said that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders in a strange way, something the candidate had also been accused of by other women earlier, and that he wanted her to serve drinks at an event because he liked her legs. According to her, she went so far as to lodge a complaint, which was never addressed by Biden. However, her claims have been undermined by the fact that Reade’s story has changed continuously, something she claims is because of her fear of Biden’s influence. The presidential candidate has not released records of the complaint. He denies that such an encounter ever took place. However it turns out, the issue puts pressure on Biden, whose campaign has already looked a little shaky before. One issue that affected Biden throughout his run for the nomination was his tendency to slip up, and make remarks that he didn’t intend, or that came across as too strong. Because of this, Trump called Biden ‘sleepy Joe’ and compared him to a glass of water. Most recently, Biden said in an interview concerning his record on race that any black person having trouble deciding between him and Trump “ain’t black”. Naturally, these comments did not sit well with many people, especially black voters and their representatives. Nevertheless, neither President Obama nor some of the women rumored to be in the running for the position of VP have made any comments. Since the black vote is a crucial factor of the election, we will most likely see the impact of Biden’s remarks during the vote itself.
President Trump, Biden’s opponent, is no stranger to controversy. His presidency has been infamous for clashes with the media, and his response to the coronavirus has been heavily criticised, especially the fact that, while the death toll continued rising steeply throughout the US, Trump went golfing. In fact, this has prompted a famous ad which contrasted Trump’s dismissive comments about the coronavirus with the rising number of cases, which his campaign tried to block. Nevertheless, nobody is sure how this will affect his campaign, since the polls have been notoriously wrong in predicting voter support in the past. Apart from the coronavirus, Trump has also clashed with fellow politicians over the post office. According to him it is an expensive, inefficient “joke”. In order to pull it out of debt, Trump plans for it to raise the cost of packages and starts taxing companies like Amazon more. If it does not do that, he will withhold federal aid. According to many, that move could make it very difficult for Americans to send packages during this time and also plunge the post office into even more debt. Furthermore, Trump has also said that voting by mail, something that could be introduced in many states if the coronavirus crisis continues over the next few months, would be fraudulent, and that it shouldn’t be allowed since it would result in a rigged election. Despite his comments, and Republican lawsuits,the practice is being introduced in many states where concerns about voting do not allow for the standard method.
The upcoming election will be one of the most interesting in American history, not only because of the candidates, but because of the situation that surrounds it. Electronic votes, and the aftermath of a devastating pandemic, means the country will be in a brave new world, and it will be interesting to see who the American public elects as President in 2020.