Jun 10, 2020 / 06:53

Black Lives Matter and the new US political constellation

The Hanoitimes - The risks of Donald Trump losing reelection are growing, but his chances of staying in the White House are still there.

Amid the socially and economically devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States has been plunged into protests, chaos and violence after George Floyd, an unarmed black man in handcuffs, died on May 25 in Minneapolis. A white police officer pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck, ignoring his "I can't breathe" cries and holding him even after Floyd stopped moving as other white police officers watched. Floyd’s death sparked protests that spread across the world. Along with the pandemic, the new crisis could decide the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

 President Donald Trump and former VP Joe Biden

It seems that US President Donald Trump, the contender on the Republican side, is launching the so-called Southern Strategy to secure his reelection. This was a highly controversial GOP electoral strategy to obtain votes of the white people in the Deep South by appealing to racism against African Americans. With this strategy, Richard Nixon won the US presidential elections in 1968. Trump's handling of the new crisis has, in fact, not been by pouring oil into troubled waters, but by using police, National Guard and nearby military forces against the protesters in order to present himself as the president of "Law and Order", as Nixon in 1968.

His main political rival in this ultimate power game from the Democratic Party, former Vice President Joe Biden, saw new chances coming to beat Donald Trump. He stepped out of his self-quarantine against the pandemic and formulated a new campaign strategy to take advantage of the new situation, to win black and moderate white voters and present himself as the better choice than Trump for America's future.

Both strategies could work for the two presidential candidates. This is the nature of the new electoral constellation in the US. The risks of Donald Trump losing reelection are growing, but his chances of staying in the White House are still there. The chances of Joe Biden defeating the incumbent are increasingly realistic than before, but the likelihood that he will be left empty handed is still remarkable. Trump's campaign strategy is the polarization of society and the radicalization of his government policies. His most powerful trump card is his executive powers. Biden now appears to be leaning toward mobilizing blacks and traditional non-voters. To this end, he focuses his campaign on commitments to political, judicial, and social reforms as a way out of the current situation in the US.

If this constellation persists until the election day (November 6), the final election results would depend on the turnout of voters. The higher it is the likelier Joe Biden could win.