Watch: Can Donald Trump Pull Off Another Upset in US Elections?

The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia speaks to journalist Avinash Kalla and US poll expert Andrew Claster.

3 min read

Ahead of the much-awaited US presidential elections, The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia spoke to journalist Avinash Kalla and US poll expert Andrew Claster about crucial questions around the elections such as whether the presidential race is tightening, which the critical battleground states are, and much more.

Journalist Avinash Kalla says that the US voting system is obsolete.

“Even though the voting in the US continues for 15-18 days, the voter turnout is quite low. The Americans do feel connected in the election process, the basic question they ask is that why the people’s voice is not being represented, they do not like the electoral vote, they say that their vote will be wasted if somebody else is elected from their area,” Kalla said when asked about the US election process.

“The voting system in the US is disorganised,” Kalla said.

Talking about Trump’s popularity, Kalla says: “One resonating factor about Trump is, people relate to him, they say that he is an outsider like them, not a conventional system politician.”

“He is somebody who is challenging the status quo,” said Kalla.

Kalla went on to say that people assume that Trump is good for the economy.

“Two-thirds of American voters believe that if Trump stays then the stock market will go up”.

How important is the Indian voter in US elections?

“Indian voters are not that politically significant, they constitute 1 percent of all voters. But Indian participation is increasing,” says Kalla.

“Indian voters are democratic, they will vote for Democrats,” Kalla further said.

Earlier there was a significant lead for Biden against Trump, but now as the elections are approaching, the race is getting tighter.

“Biden does have a significant lead but there is tremendous uncertainty in this election because of the pandemic, and because the country has record early voting and postal voting this year, this will impact who turns out and how people vote in this election,” said US poll expert Andrew Claster.

So what does the high voter turnout tell us about the elections?

“The early voting has surpassed the previous record that was set four years ago by more than thirty million votes. In the last elections, 33-34 percent of all votes were cast early, but this year by 2 November it’s likely a well over 60 percent of all votes be cast early,” Claster said.

Claster further stated that this high percentage of early voting is partly because of coronavirus pandemic, and also due to increased enthusiasm of Biden supporters.

When questioned about a report by Pink Paper which states that stock markets have factored in a Biden victory, US poll expert Andrew Claster said: “I guess stock markets are less important than the experience of the families - we have record-high unemployment, job losses, very low income, stimulus that happened months ago evaporated, the Congress and White House failed to agree on new stimulus, a lot of people in the US are out of work and they are hurting, unemployment benefits in many cases are coming to an end, the real situation of the Americans on the ground is very different from the stock market”.

“The hope is that the margin will be large enough in the battleground states that we will know the result on the election night,” said Claster when asked about the US election results.

But What if Trump refuses to vacate the White House if he loses?

“That depends on the size of the margin. If it is sizeable, Trump won’t find any support for his allegations that the vote was stolen, but if it is very close in some of the key states, there will be some Trump supporters who will push him to do whatever it takes him to be in power,” said Claster.

So far, United States voters have cast more than 10 million votes for the 3 November presidential election as early votes. According to a study based on data compiled by the US Elections Project, this is significantly higher than the early voting in 2016.

Reports suggest this surge in turnout is owing to a number of persons opting for early and mail balloting, particularly among Democrats, amid the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters.

The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for 3 November and will be the 59th quadrennial presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who, in turn, will vote on 14 December 2020, to elect a new president – Donald Trump or Joe Biden – and vice presidents – Mike Pence or Kamala Harris.

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