United States: bricked-up businesses and violence at the doors of the White House, a synthesis of the tension that the country is experiencing at the time of the elections

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According to the average of RealClearPolitics polls, Joe Biden leads nationally by 6.8% and the advantage over Donald Trump is reduced to just 2.7% in key states, almost in the margin of error. Everything can happen

The scene takes place in front of the White House, before the eyes of this correspondent. Near the fence that surrounds the house that has housed Donald Trump in Washington for four years, a group of dozens of supporters of Democratic candidate Joe Biden and the BlackLivesMatter movement sing and raise banners against the president. All around, businesses in this capital rush to finish covering the windows with wood for fear of looting and violence.

Suddenly, a huge black van appears loaded with white, red and blue Trump flags and stops in front of the protesters. From the vehicle they honk their horns and fierce insults rained down from the sidewalks with raised middle fingers. In the midst of the shouting, a burly man of almost two meters – dressed in black, with a cap, chinstrap and glasses of the same color and that made him unidentifiable – sneaks up from the crowd. he carried in his hand a metal bar of more than one meter. The giant approaches the truck and without a word he slams the bodywork on it, ending the discussion because the vehicle is speeding away. The police stationed there watch the scene impassively.

So in this climate of tension and violence sitting on the very doorstep of the White House and across the country, the United States votes this Tuesday, in a crucial election that will define whether the country renews the mandate for another four years to Donald Trump, the most controversial president of the recent times, and in the midst of a strong division as has never been seen here.

According to the average of RealClearPolitics polls, Biden is ahead nationally by 6.8% (it comes in decline, two days ago it was 7.7%) and the advantage over the president is reduced to just 2.7% in key states, almost in the margin of error. In other words, anything can happen and the ghost of 2016 is always present, when Trump broke the forecasts and ended up winning Hillary Clinton thanks to a handful of votes in some states.

The landscape these days is unprecedented. Businesses boarded up for fear of riots, record sale of arms in the country, clashes between sympathizers, “observers” with guns to supervise the scrutiny, militias on alert, rumors of fraud and civil war, that the president will entrench himself in the White House, which has added fences to its surroundings: a climate more similar to that of a Third Communist republic than to the first world power.

Americans also face enormous uncertainty about the results and whether it will actually be known who the president is the same night, since Trump has announced – without evidence – that there may be fraud and that he is enlisting a brigade of lawyers to fight the votes in justice in case of not being a winner.

Actually, Americans They have already been voting for weeks in advance or by mail, but Tuesday is the last day to do so and the polls will close from 7 pm (9 pm in Argentina), depending on each state. There are almost 100 million people who have already voted, an anticipated participation that is record, in the middle of a pandemic that has already caused more than 230,000 deaths and with fears that there will be episodes of violence on election day.

Trump adviser Jason Miller has already hinted that there will be a legal battle. “Many smart Democrats believe that President Trump will go ahead on election night … and then they will try to steal the election,” he said. The strategy, as revealed by Axios based on some advisers to the president, would be that Trump will declare himself the winner at the beginning (when the votes by mail, presumably favorable to the Democrats, are not yet counted) and in the following days he will begin the complaints of fraud.

The candidates were until the last possible moment trying to garner votes and calling people to go to the polls in key states at a frantic pace for two older candidates (Trump is 74 years old and Biden 77), in acts in the rain and in temperatures almost below zero in autumn. They focused only on states that tend to change political sign in each election and where the race is very tight today.

The president, who visited crucial Florida on Sunday, starred in a string of rallies on Monday in North Carolina, Pennsylvania (he was in Scranton, Biden’s hometown) and Wisconsin, with a big night shutdown in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The democrat, meanwhile, focused on Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he closed with an act in Pittsburgh, with Lady Gaga.

During the scrutiny, there will be a concentration of BlackLivesMatter in the surroundings of the White House, where the president will be following the results. Biden, instead, will be at his headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

“We know that there are people who will want to create chaos and confusion”said Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser. The fear of a possible wave of violence led to the shops in the center of the city being bricked up and also iconic buildings of New York like the Empire State, or the windows of Macy’s, on Broadway, and others on Fifth Avenue.

There is a record of arms sales in the country and, according to what they told Clarín in armories and firing ranges in some states like Michigan, it is among other reasons for fear of possible disturbances after the elections. Militias are alert to “take care of private property”, Walmart this week took out the weapons on display in all its stores for fears of violence and looting. A Biden campaign bus was surrounded by about 100 pro-Trump vehicles in Texas on Friday, and two Democratic campaign events were canceled after the incident.

In this unprecedented climate, Americans will decide if they want another four years of Donald Trump.

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