Biden has an advantage with moderate voters

Given the complex system of electoral college in the United States (US), and the fact that most states are either firmly red or blue, it is a set of swing states which exercise a major say in determining the outcome of the presidential elections. Polls suggest a tight race in these states. The larger electoral backdrop itself is grim, with the country confronting a pandemic, race riots and an economy in recession. President Donald Trump has given up any pretence to being a unifying national leader. He has positioned himself as a majoritarian law-and-order candidate, seeking to drum up fears in suburban America of minorities. He has added fuel to the fire by portraying his Democratic opponent as a radical leftist. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has given a starkly different message, arguing he would be a healer and address the long-standing grievances of the US’s black minority.

The problem for both candidates is that neither is seen as presidential material. Mr Trump’s idiosyncrasies have cost him the support of a lot of Republicans. Mr Biden has struggled with his age and explaining why he should be in the White House . But his most important advantage is that Americans have changed when it comes to race. White Americans today accept their country has a race and policing problem and a policing problem much more than before. Some polls show this figure has tripled in just the past decade. And while support for the present protests has been falling, the sense the status quo is not sustainable has remained strong. If this translates into ballots, Mr Trump’s message will struggle to find traction with the middle-of-the-road voters who will decide this election.

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