In one of the demonstrations in Washington by the George Floyd murder, a young man in a blue mask was riding his bicycle through the crowd with a plea written on a piece of cardboard: “Remember this in November.”
The banner summed up well the longing of the Democratic Party, which has rushed to support protests over police violence affecting African Americans, a historically progressive voting bloc but whose turnout declined in the 2016 elections from the previous decade.
The protests have been repeated in more than 700 cities and peoples of every US state, including largely white or conservative localities, in a sign that the wave of frustration has not only mobilized blacks, but has generated a self-examination among Caucasian Americans.
Trump campaign concern
The movement has raised concern in the campaign re-election of Trump, which in recent weeks has seen its support wane in key states like Arizona, Ohio, Florida and Georgia, as well as among older Americans.
Trump began 2020 with considerable options to prevail in the November elections, thanks to the economic expansion enjoyed by the country, the inherent advantage that being a sitting president gives him and the nature of the US electoral system, which centers the battle. in a handful of key states.
However, the arrival of coronavirus to the United States -converted into the country with more cases and deaths from the pandemic- and its impact on the economy complicated the outlook for Trump, who must now also face the wave of protests.
The Biden Advantage and the Time Factor
“With COVID-19, the economic downturn and protests about racism and the police, I would say that Biden has a 60% chance of winning,” says a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, Zoltan Hajnal. .
Although the protests have sparked a debate about racism that could influence the electoral outcome, Hajnal believes that such an impact will likely be “marginal” unless the protests last “long enough”, because there are still five months to go before the 3 election. of November.
“These elections are still in the air”, stressed the expert.
The first polls give an obvious advantage to the Democratic candidate. As the chart of average polls shows, Biden would be much closer to reaching the 270-vote figure the White House would give him. At least six states, including Florida and Ohio, will be decisive in turning the balance and in that battlefields the rivals will beat copper in November.
According to this other poll published this week by CNN, only 38% of Americans approve of Trump, his worst score in a year and a half, and a similar percentage to that recorded at this point in his term by former presidents Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush, who lost their reelection campaigns.
Trump’s strategy to deal with this data and the protests has been to rescue the motto of “law” of their 2016 campaign, which was also used by former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and that it works well among the 30% of voters who support him unconditionally.
However, given that his victory in 2016 was very tight, Trump needs to mobilize a broader coalition, and it is difficult for the iron-clad and nuanced slogan of “law and order” to succeed in the current context: on the contrary, “it could divert many moderate or independent voters to the Democratic field, “according to Hajnal.
Biden, for the black vote and youth
The hope of Biden’s campaign is for the movement spurred on by Floyd’s death to convince young people who flood the streets and African-Americans to go to the polls.
But Biden barely arouses enthusiasm among voters 18-29, who overwhelmingly backed their primary rival, progressive senator Bernie Sanders, in the primaries.
As for African-Americans, many are concerned about Biden’s past as the author of a 1994 crime law that helped reinforce the current problem of mass incarceration in the US, which disproportionately affects blacks and Latinos.
“I don’t think the Biden campaign is in as good a position as they think of black voters,” explains the group’s New York president. “Black Lives Matter“(” Black Lives Matter, “BLM), Hawk Newsome.
Vice President Wanted
In 2016, Newsome decided not to vote in the presidential election because Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “did nothing” to “inspire” her, but believes that this time she will speak out because she cannot bear “the idea of four more years of Donald Trump “.
However, she believes that Biden “has not accepted a platform that appeals to black people” and, although he wants her to choose an African American woman for the Vice President, she believes that those who support the BLM movement would not welcome the selection of the senator Kamala Harris, due to his controversial record as a prosecutor in California.
“A lot of people know that (Biden) has acted against blacks in the past, so they will have to choose between the lesser of two evils“Newsome summed up.
That lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic candidate may result in lower participation, which, if it occurs in key states and is not compensated by the mobilization of other demographic groups, could favor Trump.