Sunday, 5 December, 2021
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OPINION

US Polls Matter



Birendra Madai

The United States is set to go to 59th quadrennial presidential election on November 3. The voters will elect the electors who in turn will vote on December 14 to either elect a new leadership or provide a mandate to continue the Trump administration.
The entire nation will have the Electoral College with a total of 538 electors. A presidential candidate is required to gain at least 270 electoral votes to be the winner. Article two of the US Constitution has clearly defined criteria for a person to serve as a president. To be eligible for the presidential candidate, s/he should be at least 35-year-old natural-born citizen of the US and has resided there at least 14 years.
With a few weeks left for the election day, former vice-president Joe Biden, the Democratic party's nominee, is competing with incumbent Republican president Donald Trump.
The US President always belongs to either of the two dominant parties -- Republican or Democratic. The Republican Party is also known as the GOP, or Grand Old Party, which has stood for lower taxes, gun rights and tighter restrictions on immigration in recent years. Republicans have strong hold in rural parts of the country. Former president Abraham Lincoln, along with Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, and George W. Bush belonged to this party.
The Democratic Party, also known as the party of "common man," is the oldest existing political party in the United States. This party is softer on immigrants, voices for safe abortion, recognises LGBT rights and advocates for tighter gun policy.
For 2020 election, incumbent president Trump and vice-president Pence are the unanimous Republican nominees. Biden has been nominated as the presidential candidate over his closest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders.
Both Trump and Biden are in their 70s. Trump would be 74-years-old at the start of his second term (if elected), while Biden, 78, would be the oldest first-term president in the US history. Instead of focusing on the 2020 election campaign, and handling the pandemic, Trump has struggled to shift the focus of the voters terming Biden as a "disaster" for the American people.
The US saw widespread protests following the killing of George Floyd, a Black American, in May this year. The coronavirus pandemic has also become a major crisis for the US with the country recording the highest number of infections and deaths globally. The contagion has had serious repercussions on the US economy. At the end of 2019, the United States' economy was doing quite well, with unemployment falling to the lowest figure since 1990 and GDP growing steadily since 2016.
However, the presidential election results may still depend upon the ability of each candidate to convince the voters to turn out on the election day. Trump's miraculous win in 2016, bypassing democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, has spread mistrust in the media polls among American people and the rest of the world. So we cannot predict who is going to win right at the moment.
No matter whoever wins the election, the change in the US leadership will have a strong influence upon people's lives both at home and abroad. Thus, November 3 will matter much for everyone around the globe.