With three months to go before the U.S. presidential election, the first Tuesday in November, Donald Trump faces the same election with very little chance of being reelected. None of the polls conducted so far give him a victory, with even the most important ones giving more than a 10-point lead to the Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
With the country plunged into a 33% drop in its GDP, a weakened economy and an increase in unemployment to 15%, Donald Trump has nothing to show for regaining the majority sympathies that brought him to the White House. His disastrous management of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the balance towards the options for change, together with his permanent absurdities in foreign policy that have placed the United States as the negative reference in the international 'affair'. Several political analysts assure that these elections will not be won by Biden, but rather lost by Trump.
In spite of the trends, it remains to be seen what aces the tycoon will have up his sleeve to try to recover lost ground. In my view, they could go in two directions: the first in foreign policy. The current tension with China and Russia, which are gaining global influence, can serve as an argument to show American strength with moves in favor of Taiwan and Hong Kong. Closer to home, in his backyard, Trump continues to hold out the option of Venezuela, even with plans for military intervention, which would place the United States in a catharsis of the memory of Vietnam; very conducive to recovering votes for Republican nationalism. Much less likely, but not to be ruled out, is that he will choose to attack Nicaragua head-on, a much less powerful enemy, as was the case with Noriega in Panama. The issue of Cuba is already a separate chapter, since it has hardened all the possibilities of blockade with the Helms-Burton Act, which Obama managed to soften during his last term in office.
The second direction, oriented towards the interior of the country, could count on a brutal economic injection from the Treasury that will guarantee in the short term an improvement in the economic perception in the pockets of the Americans, including aid for industrial, agricultural and livestock production, mining and automobiles. In addition, explore through balloon probes (Twitter), the unprecedented possibility of delaying the elections. He has already launched the proposal based on the possibility of mail vote fraud, which would be increased by the effects of the pandemic, which he will use (now) as a deterrent for Americans to vote freely, asking Congress to approve an election delay by March 2021. He will make any moves that will help him buy time to implement the last-minute measures.
Despite all this, Joe Biden has everything to gain. His next coup will be the appointment before August 11 of his candidate for the vice presidency, since he has already promised in the Democratic interns that if he were the candidate he would have a woman in the tandem. Biden is debating between California Senator Kamala Harris and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, although Susan Rice (Ambassador to the United Nations with Obama) and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are entering the race. Personally, I think she will go for a black candidate to ensure African-American support.
We will still have time to analyze Trump's and Biden's movements in the upcoming election campaign. Democrats already know from experience that you can't sell a bear's hide before you hunt it.
Francisco Pineda Zamorano. Expert in International Relations and Cooperation.