Covid-19 has been a central theme in the run-up to the US election but votes will also be swayed by controversies over racial discrimination and the nation’s immigration policy.
Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent president has been criticized by his Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, over his stance on race and immigration.
The presidential debates held in the United States saw the handling of Covid-19 as the main theme and had both men go at each other on the issues of racial discrimination and immigrants.
It’s a worldwide problem
On Covid-19, President Trump and his supporters were criticized for not wearing face masks and observing social distancing in campaigns.
The president believes opening the economy while fighting the virus was best for Americans.
However, Mr. Biden thinks Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 has been a disaster.
Around 230,000 Americans have died since the pandemic started.
Biden hopes to come up with a plan to fight the virus.
President Trump, while talking about his handling of the virus in the last debate in Tennesse said:
“We have a problem that is a worldwide problem. But we have been congratulated by heads of many countries about what we’ve been able to do.”
In his response, Mr. Biden said: “The expectation is that we’ll have 200,000 American deaths by the end of the year. If we just wore this mask, the president’s own advisers told him, we would’ve saved 100,000 lives.”
Coyotes and bad people!
When Trump was asked about immigration and children separated from their parents at the border, he said the children were brought in by coyotes and bad people who use them to come into the country.
“We’re over 400 miles of brand-new wall, we let people in, but they have to come in legally,” he said.
His Challenger, Mr. Biden said the children were not brought in by coyotes but by their parents.
According to him, it was a disincentive to stop the families from coming to the US.
“Within 100 days of my presidency, I will send to the US congress a pathway for citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people,” he said.
The election and the race factor
The controversies around racial injustice and immigration are seen as indicators that will swing votes, besides Covid-19.
According to Pew Research Centre, the number of Black Americans eligible to vote for president reached a record 30 million in 2020, with more than one-third living in nine of the nation’s most competitive states.
These states are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where 29% of all U.S. eligible voters live.
BlackLivesMatter will matter
Some voters have said the killing of an African American, George Floyd, and the BlackLivesMatter movement happening months before the election has made racial discrimination a bigger factor.
Arin, an African American voter from Texas said:” I think Covid-19 and the BlackLivesMatter protests will determine who wins this election.”
Many will be keen to see whether the votes will be influenced by race, in places like Texas, which voted for the Republican Party in 2016.