Trump and Biden compete for attention in separate TV interviews. What should we pay attention to?


Joe Biden Tuesday in Miramar, Florida.Image AFP

Why two separate events at the same time?

Trump and Biden were actually supposed to have their second presidential debate with each other on Thursday night. The date and time had been fixed for months. But Trump canceled last week because the organizing committee announced that the debate would be held virtually due to Trump’s recent corona contamination. “I’m not going to waste my time on that,” Trump said. “I’m not going to sit at a computer.”

Biden announced almost immediately that he was willing to answer questions from citizens at the already scheduled time. On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign team surprised voters by organizing their own interview with citizens at exactly the same time. The NBC channel – which offers Trump this option – has received a lot of criticism for making it impossible for voters to follow two conversations at the same time.

Why are both TV interviews important?

For Trump, it is one of the last opportunities to turn the election race in his favor. It is to be hoped that in one of the two interviews something happens that is so big that it changes the course of the race drastically. The president desperately needs that, because he has been well behind in the popularity polls for months – an average of 7 to 10 percent. Although these polls do not necessarily predict who will be the next president (Trump was also well behind Hillary Clinton in 2016), it is a bad sign that Trump is also behind in almost all deciding states (‘swing states’). If Trump doesn’t win in a state like Florida, it will be very difficult for him to become president.

So it’s not surprising that Trump is answering questions from Florida voters tonight. For Trump, the TV event is important to persuade voters there to still vote for him. But the TV debate is also a national stage that he will use to whip up his supporters in other parts of the country to go to the polls on November 3. Time is running out: Trump has only three weeks left to secure his position in the White House.

Tonight’s TV interview is also of great importance to Biden. It is true that he has been ahead of the polls for months, but that lead must also be capitalized by the fact that the people who say they want to vote for him will actually complete the election bill. So they have to get off the couch and to the polling station. Or cast their vote by mail. The TV debate is a national stage that Biden can use to call people to this.

The debate is also important for Biden to once again demonstrate to voters that he is fit for the presidency. Trump has been casting doubt on this for months, including by calling Biden dementia. During the first presidential debate, Biden debunked that image. But he is not known for being a smooth public speaker. So it is important for him to keep radiating strength tonight and not make mistakes that cast doubt on his fitness.

In Miami people are urged to vote. Image AP

What are the interviews about?

Trump has tried to keep corona out of his campaign so far, but today he got one a godsend, when it became known that two employees of vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have tested positive. He will use that fact to argue that anyone can get infected, even if you are so careful. Democrats have so far accused Trump of being reckless with the virus, including by not wearing a mouth mask. But that accusation is more difficult now that corona has also surfaced in their own ranks.

Tonight Biden will presumably emphasize that exposure to the virus is inevitable, but that a team can do everything they can to reduce the chance of it spreading. And clearly Trump’s campaign team is not doing that.

However, Trump’s main talking point will not be corona, but the economy and security in the country. His campaign has so far been aimed at telling Americans that their country will be destroyed by violence and leftist communists if Biden becomes president. So Trump will answer virtually every question from voters tonight with the promise that under his rule the economy will grow again and America will be safe again. Trump will also emphasize that he fights on behalf of the common man against the corrupt elite in Washington, which he says includes Biden.

Chances are Trump will repeat that corruption accusation often tonight. Since Wednesday, his campaign team has been working overtime to accuse Biden of abusing his position as a former vice president under President Obama to make his son Hunter Biden make millions in Ukraine. It’s a pain story, because a Senate committee (led by Republicans) recently concluded that there were no proof US foreign policy was found to have been influenced by the work of Hunter Biden at the time. Risk to Trump is also that floating voters are irritated by Trump’s obsession with the Hunter Biden story, because they don’t care about it in these times of various national crises, such as the corona outbreak and recession.

Biden will use his own interview with citizens to explain once again that not only is Americans’ health at stake if they choose Trump (his corona approach failed to prevent over 200,000 deaths), but also America’s soul. is at stake if Trump wins. According to the Democrat, the US is built on the principle of equality, while Trump would only want to stand up for white, rich and straight people. Biden will want to remind young voters of his green plans for the climate and the economy.

President Trump campaigned in Sanford, Florida on Monday.Image AFP

What else should I pay attention to?

It is usually not a good sign when a presidential candidate starts begging people to vote for him, various American media report this week. Still, that’s exactly what Trump did at a campaign meeting in Pennsylvania earlier this week.

‘Will you please like me? I saved your bloody neighborhood! ”Trump told suburban female voters threatening to turn to his Democratic opponent Biden. “Please, please,” Trump said.

Because of that plea, it is interesting to hear tonight whether Trump is once again fully targeting women from the wealthy suburbs to save his campaign, or whether he is also targeting others. To win, Trump also needs support from elderly in states like Florida and white workers from rural areas who did not vote last time. How is he going to convince them to vote for him? The arguments and persons he mentions tonight will likely become his focus during the last three weeks of his campaign.

For Trump supporters, it will be interesting to hear if Biden is finally willing to answer the question of whether he wants to increase the number of seats in the Supreme Court to prevent conservative judges from gaining the upper hand there.

Where and when can I follow the debate?

Rivals Trump and Biden are each holding a separate event that airs Thursday nights from 8 p.m. US time. Due to the time difference, it will be 02:00 on Friday morning in the Netherlands.

Trump answers questions from voters in Miami for about 60 minutes. The meeting will be broadcast by NBC. Also MSNBC subsidiaries and CNBC broadcast the conversation.

Chairman of the discussion at the Trump event is Savannah Guthrie, presenter of the news program the “Today Show.” She knows politics well; she is a former White House reporter and is married to a Democratic political consultant.

Joe Biden talks to citizens in Philadelphia for about 90 minutes. The conversation is broadcast by the ABC channel. The moderator is news presenter George Stephanopoulos. He also knows the political field well. He was White House communications director at the time of Bill Clinton and, before becoming a journalist, a political adviser to the Democrats.

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