Tom Ellis TOM ELLIS

Trump, Biden focus on domestic priorities

COMMENT

US President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on September 19. [Reuters]

TAGS: US, Elections

The US election can still swing either way. Even though public opinion polls in recent months have given Joe Biden a steady lead, which on average is around eight points over Donald Trump, this could still be reversed. Indeed, in the crucial states – which are what really counts, since the electoral college (and not the direct votes) decide the outcome – the Democratic former vice president’s lead is smaller and certainly not “safe.”

Most Americans have already decided who they’ll be voting for and some states have even begun the process of mail-in voting. However, the three upcoming televised debates between the two candidates may prove crucial. Lackluster public appearances by the 78-year-old Democratic candidate have caused widespread concern that he will be seen as lagging, thus having a negative impact, and that the tables may turn in Trump’s favor.

In this presidential campaign two issues stand at the forefront: the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. Polls show that the former is Trump’s strongest card, while Biden has the lead when it comes to the handling of the health crisis.

American society is divided right now and seems to care little about the rest of the planet, with the exception of relations with China, the world’s second-biggest economy and America’s main adversary.

Center stage in the public debate are issues such as domestic turmoil, racial discrimination, immigration and civil rights. It seems that what is at stake is the path that America will follow on a slew of social issues. The recent death of Supreme Court heavyweight Ruth Bader Ginsburg has cast an even harsher light on such issues.

As far as Greece and Cyprus are concerned, issues like the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean – which has gone beyond the narrow confines of a Greek-Turkish conflict to acquire a broader regional dimension – are not on the election agenda.

However, developments in this geopolitically sensitive area of the Eastern Mediterranean and the efforts of various global powers to exert their influence in different ways, cannot be ignored by the American power system, no matter who wins the November 3 election.

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