Author: Eugene Guo | Editor: Zhining Zhao | Updated Sept 18th 2020
The quadrennial U.S. Presidential Election is to begin Tuesday, November 3rd of 2020. With the U.S's present impact on the world’s economy and politics, the US presidential election is an event which is likely to affect everyone in the world.
The two top candidates for the presidential election are Joe Biden of the Democrat Party and current president Donald Trump of the Republican Party. Through this article, we will attempt to put our own biases out and use an objective perspective to show both of the two candidates’ likelihood of winning the election and the impacts that their presidency would have if they were to win.
2020 Election Outcome Predictions: Historically, sitting presidents had electoral advantages. However, Trump currently has one of the worst approval ratings for sitting presidents and the elections polls are all currently in favor of candidate Joe Biden. As of September 13th of 2020, Biden currently has 333 electoral votes compared to 205 electoral votes of Donald Trump. This disparity in electoral votes seem to be still growing as seen by a graph published by The Economist:
The growing difference in electoral votes on top of many other factors such as the current economic downturn and social unrest has led to rise in political analysts and economists predicting the success of Biden in the election. One of the most notable of these predictions is done by Allan Lichtman, an American history professor who is famous for correctly predicting all presidential-election outcomes since 1984. Through his renowned 13-point model, he predicts that Joe Biden will win the 2020 election.
2020 Election Impacts:
Whatever the outcome is for the 2020 Presidential Election, it is likely to have a massive impact in the US and world both politically and economically. These can be a result of the shift of power in the Senate between political parties, foreign policies against China and economic volatility as a result of new economic policies.
Senate Power Shift:
The upcoming election day of November 3rd also marks the time for Senator re-elections. This would be a significant Senator reelection as republicans have 23 seats to defend compared to that of 12 democrat seats, meaning there is a high chance that the Democrats will be able to gain power after the senator election. This is directly linked to the presidential election as historically, winning the popular vote for the election would result in additional seats in the senate being gained for that party. As Biden is likely to win the popular-vote this year for the democrats, the election would likely result in a shift in power towards the Democrats (Popular vote wins do not mean election wins due to the electoral college). However, this all depends on how much Biden actually wins the popular vote by.
The 2020 election is likely going to affect the outcome of the trade war against China. Both candidates are likely to continue with the concerns about China but Biden’s election is likely going to result in a smoother renegotiation with the Chinese government on the issue as his administration would not have to carry the baggage and policies left by the Trump admin. This point is further backed up by the following graph:
This graph from JP Morgan Asset Management illustrates the higher Republican support for policies against China, giving support to the fact that Biden may be less aggressive on trade war policies. That is not to say, however, that Biden’s election could not mean a more aggressive approach on the issue, encouraging the involvement of America’s allies. A new president usually results in volatility and unpredictability in political policies and Biden is no exception.
The re-election of Donald Trump would almost certainly result in a continuity of the current China-US relationships as it would still be the same administration in office. There’s also the possibility that the re-election may lead to an even more severe push of trade war policies for Trump as he takes his election victory as a confirmation for his trade-war actions during his presidency.