Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kate Hawkesby: Will Trump's mudslinging campaign get him across the line?


We may have thought our election campaign looked dirty at times, with the odd sneer or raised eyebrow, but compare it to the US.

Actually you can't compare it.

The US race is always a mud slinger, and this time round is no exception.

I often wonder how much the gutter politics puts people off voting. It's two weeks until their election day - and it's ugly.

The US has been divided for awhile now, but Covid hasn't helped and they're facing a President whose trying to get re-elected while also manage a pandemic - and the two haven't really gone well together. You've got the added problem of both the main candidates being in their 70's - therefore high risk, and one of them having caught it. Trump famously believes he beat it and has never been better, but that hasn't stopped the accusations flying that he's a super spreader and hasn't taken the virus seriously enough.

Take his campaign style for example - Trump likes big rallies.. and continues to host these across the US, there's no social distancing going on, very few masks, which ironically goes against his own government's rules around Covid.

Not that it bothers Trump.

But are we seeing a switch to voter preferences for softer kinder campaigns?

Are voters weary of fighting and mudslinging?

Do they really care about Hunter Biden's emails and business deals.. or is it just something Republicans hope will stick?

The combative style of Trump won him votes in 2016, but will it get him across the line this time round?

The US is seeing a similar surge we saw here with early voting.. more than 23 million ballots have been cast already.

Registered Democrats have so far outvoted registered Republicans by more than double. But Republicans say they'll show up large on the day.

If not, it's all on for Biden. His camp is playing up large Trump's poor Covid management and hoping that lockdown weary Americans will turf Trump out. And of course with the American system it's not just the presidential vote, even if he loses that to Biden, there's still the Senate. Could Republicans also lose control of that?

There's a lot at stake, and Trump knows it. His rhetoric suggests he won't go down without a fight.

But there are those who say it's closer than punters are predicting, that Trump may well take the presidency again.,. his former chief strategist Steve Bannon told The Australian newspaper that he believes Trump will win.. and that if he doesn't, he'll run again in 2024.. which would make Trump 78.. the same age Biden is now.

So despite the polls all pointing to a Biden win in two weeks.. I still think only a brave punter would bet against Donald Trump.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.

1 comment:

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

2016 revealed that many Trump voters are poll-shy.
Most polling is carried out by youngish people. Someone my age who intends voting for Trump when asked by a stranger "Who are you going to vote for?" by a pollster 40 years younger is likely to either lie or not answer at all.
The expression 'silent majority' has taken on a new meaning!