Judicial war and coronavirus in the labyrinth of the US elections

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The uncertainty ranges from doubts about whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will win next Tuesday to the fact that the results may not be there until days later, a month? of that day, and in the middle the judicialization of the entire process and the coronavirus put in the polls.

The polls not only auscultate possible winners in the elections, an extraordinary challenge in the North American electoral maze. They also measure other behaviors, sometimes even more important than that leap into the void of projections. A September poll, for example, found that two-thirds of Americans They do not believe that next Tuesday, when the US goes to the polls to decide whether to re-elect Donald Trump or crown Democrat Joe Biden, the result will be known. The magnitude of that opinion anticipates at least one certainty in the midst of the current darkness: that that day may be the threshold of a scandal that exposes the extent to which the institutional strengths that characterized the world’s greatest power are now weaknesses.

Even more serious because Florida, a key state among the defining handful of the election, may have results on the night of November 3 but not other equally crucial districts like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which were the key to Trump’s victory in 2016. In the case of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court upheld by a tied vote, 4 to 4, a local court decision that will allow the counting of votes by mail up to three days after the close of the election. The Republicans sought to overturn that ruling, but the new magistrate, Amy Coney Barrett, had not yet taken office, who would have tied the tie, they believe, in their favor. So if it also comes down to tight margins in the Midwest, Americans may not know who their next president will be for a month, the very serious speculates. The Economist.

For many reasons that we will see, this is the outcome that the president seeks with the greatest interest to force from the courts a scenario that he does not see as easy for his aspirations. So much so that Justin Riemer, legal adviser to the Republican National Committee, admitted that “We have been preparing for this, the litigation, for more than a year.”

The revelation is interesting because it would indicate that the official legal strategy would have begun to be designed even before the coronavirus wiped out the main numbers in the economy and unemployment soared, which are today the great burdens of the magnate’s campaign. A fact of how far Trump is unaware of the possibility of defeat. Question that, in addition, would indicate other less institutional needs.

The president accumulates a debt of 400 million dollars of his companies that expires the next four years, precisely in a possible second period. The tycoon’s tax records recently released by The New York Times They would indicate that your real estate emporium could face difficulties in those payments whose creditors are also a disturbing mystery.

By the way, on the Democratic side an equivalent army of lawyers has been armed who have been simulating the battle that they also consider inevitable. The team is led by Walter Dellinger, who was Attorney General of the Bill Clinton administration, but the main figure in that squad is a well-known lawyer, Marc Elias, of the Perkins Coie law firm, especially irritating to Republicans and that it is the hand that has been moved to failures like the one mentioned in Pennsylvania.

The New York Times, among other means, has analyzed what possibilities exist of a landslide triumph of Biden that closes those muddy roads. “Democrats consider it necessary to send a political message to the Republicans and a moral message to the rest of the world with a clear victory in the Electoral College on November 3,” said that speculation. That would include winning the Senate and expanding the seats in Deputies. But overwhelming and ultimate victories are rare in American history.. One of the clearest antecedents was played by George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan’s former vice president, when in 1988 he gathered 53.3% of the votes compared to 45.6% for Democrat Michael Dukakis, winning 426 electoral votes against 111 for his adversary. It is won with 270. More here, the victory of the democrat Barack Obama in 2008 is noted, which gathered 52.9% against 45.6 of John McCain. But that antecedent is relative because the election took place in the midst of the huge fire in the country that left the crisis of that year and that virtually disintegrated the second government of George Bush Jr. and it left strong wounds in the prestige of the republicans.

While Biden leads national polls today, he marches with minor differences in the states the president won in 2016. However, the Obama-McCain background may help shape perspective. The great similarity to that episode is another devastating economic crisis, this time associated with the pandemic and the explosion of the disease that has escaped the hands of the government. This circumstance means that Trump is dealing not only with his Democratic rival but also trying, in the worst way, to pure denialism, dismiss the Covid before the opposite happens. But his luck has been mixed in that campaign.

The Financial Times, generally benevolent with the president, reviewed the electoral impact of the disease. The business newspaper maintains that the president’s chances fall in the states where Covid has been growing in recent days. Cite Michigan and Wisconsin or Iowa with significant numbers. In the first of those districts, which Trump won by 7 points in 2016, Biden now leads by over 10 points according to a latest poll by ABC News y The Washington Post. In Iowa, where the president achieved a remarkable difference of 9 points four years ago, Biden leads him by 4 points, two more than in September. According to the newspaper, the Democrat has doubled his lead since August. That is due to what scientists describe as Covid’s “winter wave”, with the country heading for 100,000 cases a day and the death toll escalating to frightening levels.

Trump denigrates those fears by complaining to the press: “Covid, covid, covid” he regrets in his tweets, complaining because, he says, it is the only thing that is talked about and he attributes the new cases to the fact that there are more tests. In a misstep of his administration, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who tends to have outrageous outrages over the president, generated a certain stupor by acknowledging that “we are not going to control the pandemic” or, in other words, that the government abandons any effort to stop the disease. A comment that, according to those who heard it on CNN’s “State of the Union” was less thought than an abrupt sincericide. It was exactly the opposite of what his boss says in his torrential speeches in which he assures that the disease is turning around and far from being a threat. An irresponsibility to which only his most fanatic base adheres.

Those comments triggered a series of notable episodes. A few days ago, Trump arrived in New Hampshire on the campaign and found that the main newspaper of that state, the New Hampshire Union Lider, which has been recommending the Republican vote for a hundred years, turned around and now calls for the election of Biden. In the editorial he explained that decision, noting that “we may be turning a corner with this virus, but we turn into a dark alley of infections and record deaths “. The hitherto official Union Lider does not deprive itself of passing other bills, including public spending. Since Trump took over, the national debt has skyrocketed by more than $ 7 trillion. While the last trillion was in response to the Covid crisis, the first three trillion came well before the pandemic, as Trump presided over ‘… the best economy we’ve had in our country’s history.’ (Trump’s words) ”, he says with some irony. He then concludes that the US “faces many challenges and needs a president to rebuild this country. And that seems to be outside of Mr. Trump’s abilities. “

Another significant piece of information about the electoral weight of the pandemic came from the bowels of the president’s power system. Rupert Murdoch, the Australian newspaper mogul, owner of Fox News, among other media aligned with the president and key in his electoral campaigns, has just suggested that the president will lose due to his management of the disease. “Trump is Trump’s greatest enemy,” the 89-year-old businessman reflected in a private meeting and concluded that the US is ready for Biden.

Murdoch never denied those comments. His last favor to the president was a “revelation” in his diary, The New York Post, about the glassy discovery of a computer with data that could complicate Biden or his son in negotiated assumptions. It was a safe shot that had no effect and that meagerly tried to repeat the surprise of 2016 when, just before the elections, the FBI announced that it was reopening the investigation against Hillary Clinton for the scandal of her emails. That was a step that did change the course of voters. This time things are different, perhaps at a level that neither Trump or Biden imagine. © Copyright Clarin 2020

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