THREE MAJOR FACTORS: Key issues that could see Trump win the election
Tuesday - 03/11/2020 11:04
The US election could come down to a few key issues in a handful of states. Here’s what Donald Trump and Joe Biden are targeting.
The US election will likely boil down to the result in a handful of battleground states that Democrat hopeful Joe Biden must win from President Donald Trump.
All of this year’s top swing states – Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona – were won by Mr Trump in 2016, including four that had voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2012.
In a sign of how critical they are, Mr Trump travelled to three of them – Michigan, North Carolina and Florida – on Sunday alone, while Mr Biden held two events in Pennsylvania.
The result in these states, and of the US election, could come down to handful of issues.
Here’s a look at three crucial factors that could decide people’s votes.
If you are wondering why Donald Trump keeps referring to Joe Biden’s healthcare plans as “socialised medicine”, it’s because he may be speaking to one very important bloc of voters in the crucial state of Florida.
It is the largest of the swing states and if Mr Trump loses here, it’s likely he’ll lose the White House.
A key demographic in Florida is the state’s huge Latino population and Cuban-Americans are the largest group of Hispanic voters.
They have historically leaned conservative and for the last four years Mr Trump has appealed to these voters by reversing parts of former president Barack Obama’s engagement policy with Cuba and imposing sanctions on Latin-American socialist governments including in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
“Anything that smells like socialism to us, the slightest thing already makes us sick. We start shaking,” exiled Cuban Tirso Luis Paez told America’s ABC.
During the debate, Mr Trump asked if he would close down the oil industry.
“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Mr Biden replied, adding later that he would stop giving them federal subsidies.
Afterwards he told reporters: “We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels. We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time”.
Mr Trump seized on the comments during the debate.
“Basically what he is saying is, he is going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma? Ohio?”
“He takes everything out of context,” Mr Biden said.
“The point is, look, we have to move towards net zero emissions. The first place to do that, by the year 2035, is in energy.”
However, while many in Pennsylvania would support fracking and the fossil fuel industry, it may not be the vote winner Mr Trump thinks, with other experts suggesting many are worried about the environmental impact.
Pennsylvania has the country’s second-worst air quality thanks to greenhouse gas emitting industries in the state.
This could be the crucial vote winner for Joe Biden as the United States grapples with growing numbers of coronavirus cases.
Donald Trump has been criticised for his handling of the health crisis that has killed more than 200,000 people in America.
The President has said the virus will simply “go away” despite the US recording almost 100,000 new cases in one day ahead of the election.
He has made fun of Mr Biden’s mask wearing and has also continued to hold mass rallies of tens of thousands of people during his campaign despite having caught the virus himself.
“We’re rounding the turn. You know, all they want to talk about is COVID,” Mr Trump told his supporters at a rally in Pennsylvania, pointing at the media pen behind them.
Crowds at the President’s Florida rally this week even chanted “Fire Fauci”, referring to America’s top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci. Polls have found Americans actually trust Dr Fauci more than the President for reliable information on the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has hurt Mr Trump’s story of economic success and the virus’s impact on the economy has been felt in places like Michigan and Wisconsin, which were already suffering from the decline in manufacturing prior to the pandemic.
The Michigan manufacturing industry lost 5000 jobs last year, plus 60,000 jobs due to the pandemic.
Despite Mr Trump’s opposition to lockdowns going down well in Michigan – there was even a plot to kidnap the Michigan Governor amid discontent about strict rules – it seems unlikely the state will back him again.
Mr Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Michigan from the Democrats since 1988 when he beat rival Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes in 2016 – just 0.3 per cent of the state total.
Polls are now showing Mr Biden has a lead in the state but it appears Mr Trump is still hoping for an upset like the one he delivered in 2016.
The President’s last rally on Monday night was held in the Michigan city of Grand Rapids, the site where he delivered the final speech of his successful 2016 campaign.