Tired of 'reality TV-Presidency': Pundits explain Biden's sudden popularity in swing states (sputniknews.com)

While Trump has already won a presidential election once despite polls suggesting he would be defeated, the discrepancy in numbers between him and his opponent, Joe Biden, is currently far greater than in 2016 between Trump and Clinton, meaning that POTUS might not succeed this time even with the Electoral College.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who has been polling higher than his rival Donald Trump since May, recently reached another milestone by securing a leading position in 19 swing states, many of which gave POTUS his victory in the 2016 election. His overall lead ranges from 7% to 9%, depending on the poll, which is a wider gap than Trump had with Hillary Clinton a week ahead of voting day.

While Trump has had a lot on his hands as president in 2020 alone that could impact his ratings, it’s harder to explain Biden’s sudden surge in popularity. Trump’s main issues are not only his coronavirus response and harsh handling of the George Floyd protests, but also a lack of new ideas for his re-election, Dr Mark Shanahan, associate professor and head of the Politics and International Relations Department at the University of Reading, indicates.

“In 2016, Trump was the disruptor: the outsider who was going to shake up DC and drain the swamp. He was the businessman who’d wrench the USA from the elites and give it back to ordinary Americans […] Asked on his recent Fox Town Hall about his priorities for the second term if he won, all he could respond with was a vague mumble about ‘experience'”, Shanahan says.

Biden, meanwhile, doesn’t “evoke wild enthusiasm” in voters, although he is less divisive than Hillary Clinton, the professor indicates. However, his stance finds a lot of support among US citizens, who have become tired of politics done Trump’s way and accompanied by an array of scandals, Shanahan adds, noting that Biden is not a safe choice either, hinting at the considerable age of the Democratic candidate, who will be 81 by the end of his presidential term if he wins.

“After four years of ‘Reality TV-Presidency’ much of the country just wants a period of calm. Biden offers a safe pair of hands, although his choice of running mate will be highly significant since the chances are higher than normal of them having to step into the White House before Biden’s term is up if he is elected”, the professor concluded.

The view that Biden’s popularity is linked more to people’s attitude towards POTUS than the former vice president’s achievements and skills is echoed by Don Debar, an American political analyst. He notes that Biden has made several attempts to run for the presidency, all of them unsuccessful, and argues that he has no positive national image and no natural public constituency within his own party.

But the Democrats have created such a negative image of Trump in the eyes of their supporters that they can now feed any candidate with almost any programme to their voters, the analyst states.

“They have painted Trump as such an evil to the Democratic constituency that they assume that the Democratic candidate can take the most right wing positions imaginable, even to the right of Trump”, Don Debar says.

Still, the Democratic Party goes too far in believing that they can promote any ideas, even those they have “demonised” in the past, the analyst believes. It may well happen that Democratic voters will simply skip the vote in protest against these ideas, Debar suggests, indicating that the same thing happened back in 2016…

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