‘Trump has repelled the Democrats’ all attacks and become a hero’

Experts on how the US presidential election will take place in the midst of numerous crises

The USA has been engulfed by various crises — from foreign policy and system-related crises to the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter movement. Moreover, the country will have the presidential election in November already, and the position of current leader Donald Trump seems to be shaky at first sight. However, participants in The Primakov Readings, which were on 25 June, note that Trump can fight off these blows and run for a new term. While his opponents from the Democratic Party are so keen on trying to get rid of the hated president that are stuck in their own problems.

The root cause of American troubles

All crises that have broken in the USA in 2020 are multipliers for each other, notes economist, President of Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Aleksandr Dynkin. The long-term structural crisis — exhaustion of the “liberal consensus” between society and authorities is among them. According to this consensus, every next generation in the USA must live better than the previous one. “Nowadays a lot of experts think that millennials’ quality of life has worsened,” claims Dynkin.

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The situation in health care, growing income polarisation and so on are other structural crises. They are overlapped with a relatively short-term crisis — the chaotic fight against COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protest movement. Dynkin calls the latter an “American spring” like the Arab spring in 2011 and notes that the Democratic Party is doing its best to take advantage of the BLM for its presidential campaign’s goals.

Director of Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Fyodor Voytlovsky indicates that the state of the country’s economy is anyway the root cause of the problems and crises in the USA. And if we have a look at the economy of the USA before the coronacrisis — the situation looked quite positive for Trump. The economy has been growing rapidly, and this growth, Voytlovsky thinks, has helped the current president to solve a series of problems, including the impeachment he faced in October 2019.

At the same time, the US economy had prerequisites for the current wave of the BLM — not only the death of Afro-American George Floyd this May is the case (it was just the trigger), not only the US police’s racism is the case but the reduction in jobs mainly Afro-Americans have suffered from and that got worse due to the coronavirus.

Voytlovsky sees hope for Trump in the state of the economy — forecasts by late summer are quite positive, given the pandemic.

“We can’t say for sure that Trump will be re-elected on the crest of the wave of economic growth, but the fact that household incomes have already increased by 10% is very effective from a perspective of the measures the US government took to fight social and economic consequences of the coronavirus,” thinks Voytlovsky.

Matter of ratings

When voting, an American voter will be looking at two things, notes Voytlovsky. Firstly, it is the state of personal budget: if the person has a job, if the person has money to pay off a loan and so on. Secondly, it is one’s tax declaration. In the second issue, Trump also wins due to the measures to reduce the tax burden.

According to the director of Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, these conclusions are confirmed in the recent social surveys on Trump’s support rating: though slowly, this indicator does grow. Voytlovsky didn’t name specific numbers. We should note that according to data published on Wednesday, 37% of the respondents supported Trump, which is the lowest number since March. His rival at the election, Joe Biden, has 14% more than Trump.

“Trump referendum”

Director of the Institute for the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Garbuzov notes that the unexpected factors in politics — the coronavirus and BLM — influenced the course of the electoral campaign both for Republican Trump and the Democrats. However, Trump staged a revolution in the party as early as 2016 when he obtained almost full support of the Republicans.

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“90% were in favour of Trump, the way he is, before the pandemic, and during the pandemic. The Republicans won’t turn their back to him during the election year despite everything that’s known and unknown about him, whoever writes whatever.”

While the Democrats are focused not on supporting their own candidate but the fight against Trump. This is why precisely Trump, Garbuzov thinks, remains the central figure of the upcoming election. Garbuzov even calls it a “Trump referendum”.

“Blindfolded with hate, they (Editor’s Note: Democrats) have focused everything on the fight against Trump. He has repelled all their attacks and become a hero. This is why they didn’t solve their problems — problems of programme narratives and leadership problems,” the expert notes.

Moreover, Garbuzov thinks that the situation in the next four months can change many times, especially considering how many new things have happened since early 2020. “As experience shows, people make a decision the day before or on the voting day,” Garbuzov adds.

By Aleksandr Artemyev