USA: Presidential debate: Key takeaways from the Trump-Biden showdown – BBC News

  • US election 2020 – Report from BBC News
Composite image of Donald Trump and Joe Biden debating

Trump vs Biden Debate

The mute button, or at least the threat of it, seemed to work. In the second presidential debate, Donald Trump and Joe Biden candidates were more restrained.

The candidates allowed each other to speak. They used respectful tones. Even when they went on the attack, they did so in a calm, deliberate manner.

After a pugnacious first debate, during which Donald Trump’s constant interruptions may have cost him support in subsequent opinion polls, the president has very visibly dialed down the volume – and it made him a much more effective debater.

This time, the content of what the candidates are saying might be what the American public remembers from the debate – not the chaotic manner in which it was delivered.

READ MORE: https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54650681

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  • Clyde Duncan  On October 24, 2020 at 3:27 am

    ‘This Time, I Predict Trump Will Lose’

    An interview with Allan Lichtman — one of the few forecasters who predicted the victory of Donald Trump in 2016:

    I understand Donald Trump is trying to channel Richard Nixon’s 1968 Law and Order campaign.

    The problem is Richard Nixon was the challenger then, Donald Trump is the incumbent, today.

    He owns what is happening in America. It’s not a very persuasive argument to say elect me in November and I will stop all the terrible things that are happening while I am president.

    As Herbert Hoover, who presided over the Great Depression, knew, he once said:

    The President gets the credit for the sunshine and the blame for the rain. And it’s raining pretty hard in America right now.

    Source: International Politics and Society

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 24, 2020 at 3:39 am

    Trump just quietly passed an executive order that could destroy a future Biden administration

    ‘Through this order, President Trump has declared war on the professional civil service by giving himself the authority to fill the government with his political cronies who will pledge their unwavering loyalty to him, NOT to America’

    Dr Rick Bright — the former Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response who left government service after Trump officials demoted him for contradicting the President’s attempts to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic — said the Trump administration has already been seeding the government with unqualified loyalists.

    As for the possibility that Trump could use the order to install scores of cronies to sabotage Biden, a former top Department of Health and Human Services official says it is already happening.

    “Many of those who were brought in,” Bright said, are “friends and family” of Trump administration officials who initially showed up as contractors:

    “And then the next thing you know, they’ve changed their business card and their email address and they’re federal employees.”

    Source: Andrew Feinberg | Independent UK

  • brandli62  On October 24, 2020 at 7:35 am

    “Many of those who were brought in,” Bright said, are “friends and family” of Trump administration officials who initially showed up as contractors:
    “And then the next thing you know, they’ve changed their business card and their email address and they’re federal employees.”

    Trump’s way of draining the swamp….. America wake up!

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 24, 2020 at 10:01 am

    The Economist: Checks and Balance

    The best of our coverage of American politics, delivered to your inbox on Friday

    Facing a Rout, Donald Trump has No Time Left to Turn Things Around

    The presidential election has entered the final stretch. WITH 11 DAYS UNTIL VOTES ARE TALLIED, THE ECONOMIST’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FORECAST PUTS DONALD TRUMP IN AN EIGHT-PERCENTAGE-POINT HOLE NATIONALLY AND LOSING IN ALL OF THE IMPORTANT SWING STATES.

    OUR MODEL GIVES THE PRESIDENT JUST UNDER A ONE-IN-TEN CHANCE OF WINNING RE-ELECTION. HIS HOPES ARE KEPT ALIVE BY THREE MAIN FACTORS:

    THE FIRST AND LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR IS THE CHANCE OF LARGE POLLING ERRORS. Our analysis of polling between 1948 and 2016 reveals that polls tend to miss the eventual Democratic margin in the election by about 3.5 percentage points on average. Statistically, that implies a margin of error of about seven percentage points. That alone puts Joe Biden’s eight-point national lead outside the threshold of the traditional 95% uncertainty interval; IN FACT, OUR MODEL TODAY FINDS THAT POLLS VIRTUALLY GUARANTEE HE WILL WIN A MAJORITY OF THE POPULAR VOTE.

    BUT THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ELECTED BY THE NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE. The electoral college, with its votes allocated by the states, does the real deciding. And Mr Biden’s margin in competitive states is much smaller than his support countrywide. Today our model puts him up by between six and seven points in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — the states he needs to secure a victory.

    But unlike his national margin, these margins are well inside the uncertainty interval for state polls, which are usually less accurate than national polls and carry with them a margin of error closer to nine points. The chance that polls are wrong enough for Mr Trump to win any states if the election were held today is much higher than his chance of winning the popular vote; roughly 1-in-20.

    SECOND, THERE IS THE CHANCE THAT EVENTS TRANSPIRING OVER THE NEXT 11 DAYS CHANGE THE MINDS OF VOTERS WHO HAVE YET TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS.

    That gives Mr Trump an extra chance that a truly fundamentally unpredictable event could move the polls his way. Perhaps his administration will announce a vaccine for COVID-19 before the election, or maybe Mr Biden could be hospitalised himself. Whatever it is, that additional uncertainty stemming from the time remaining until election day pushes up Mr Trump’s odds from 4% to 8%.

    FINALLY, THERE IS THE CHANCE THAT SOMETHING OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF OUR QUANTITATIVE MODELS COULD UPSET THE BALANCE OF THE ELECTION.

    Perhaps the pandemic, poll-watchers or inclement weather will deter voters from going to the polls. Or maybe a historically large share of postal ballots will be rejected. There is also the chance that Mr Trump puts pressure on his appointees on state and federal courts to halt counting in the event of a contested election – though there are still questions over whether such a halt is possible.

    Mr Trump’s best hope is to combine substantial gains in the polls with a stroke of luck — that polls have been undercounting his supporters — and the type of electoral chicanery that is impossible to predict beforehand.

    EVEN THEN, IT IS HARD TO RATE THE PRESIDENT AS ANYTHING BUT A SEVERE UNDERDOG.

    G. Elliott Morris
    Data journalist

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