THE UNITED STATES ELECTIONS: WHO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

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By Tum Sokuntararith from CamEd Business School, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Introduction

After 4 years of the 2016 election, American will elect its 46th president on November 3 2020. Last summer, there were nearly 30 serious candidates from democrats vying for the attention of the party’s supporters, but only two are still standing namely Joe Biden (Obama’s vice president) and Bernie Sanders (Mr. Anti-Establishment). But right now there are only the top two candidates who will run for 2020 US election, Donald Trump and Joe Biden with other 27 democrats and 3 republicans dropped out.  

      Joseph R. Biden Jr (77, former vice president, former senator from Delaware)              

“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the white house, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen” 

  • He has run for president twice before 
  • He is known for his down to earth personality and his ability to connect with working class voters 
  • His eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president are a major selling point for many democrats.
  • Signature Issue: restoring America’s standing on the global stage, adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act, strengthening economic protections for low income workers in industries like manufacturing and fast food.

          Donald Trump (US president, real estate developer, reality television star) 

“Considering that we have done more than any administration in the first two years, this should be easy. More great things now in the works!”

  • Main legislative accomplishment as president: a sweeping tax cut that chiefly benefited corporations and wealthy investors.
  • Has focused on undoing the policies of the Obama administration including health care, environmental regulation and immigration.
  • Was impeached by the House of Representatives for seeking to pressure Ukraine to smear his political rivals, but was acquitted by the senate.
  • Signature Issues: Restricting immigration and building a wall at the Mexican border, renegotiating or canceling international deals on trade, arms control and climate change, withdrawing American troops from overseas. 

Who donated to Trump’s campaign?

Based on OpenSecrets.org report, the 20 top contributors to Trump campaign are

  • GH Palmer Assoc                                   $6,005,600
  • Blackstore Group                                    $3,021,241
  • Uline Inc                                                  $2,788,503
  • America First Action/Linda McMahon     $2,747,726
  • America First                                           $2,224,395 

    Others namely Stephens Inc, RDV corp, US dept state, Intercontinental Exchange Inc, Silver Lake partners, Valmore Gp, Irving Moskowitz Foundation, Mountaire Corp, Midland energy, TL Management, Alliance Coal, Valmore Management, Hamlin Capital Management, Hawaiian Gardens Casino and Advance Financial.

Who are the top contributors to the Joe Biden campaign?

     The top 20 contributors to Joe Biden campaign are 

  • Democracy PAC                           $9,750,000
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund                      $9,200,000
  • Paloma Partners                          $9,015,210
  • Priorities Usa                                $6,182,963
  • League of Conservation Voters    $5,252,585

    Others namely Euclidean Capital, Simon Property Group, Renaissance Technologies, Marcus & Millichap, American Bridge 21st century, Baupost Group, InterSystem Corp, Bain Capital, Sequoia Capital, Choice Hotels International, Goodlands Management, Masimo Corp, Samerian Foundation, American Federation of teachers, Greylock Partners 

Will Trump or Biden win the US election?

      Depending on who you ask, the answer can vary significantly and an objective answer is hard to come by. Polls or approval ratings could help – the latest poll aggregation pulls Biden in the lead with 50% versus %41 for Trump with the rest of the voters undecided. But prediction markets, simple financial markets where value of the traded assets depends on outcomes such as who wins an election, have been shown to be better long term predictors of election outcomes. Anyone can trade in these markets and firms can also use them to insure against political risks. Some companies even use prediction markets to forecast political changes, the demand for new products or the feasibility of project deadlines. 

Joe Biden, the democratic challenger in November’s US presidential election, has picked his candidate for vice president: Kamala Harris. Biden’s chances of winning the november election were given a boost on prediction markets when he announced Harris as his running mate.

In the early May, the market viewed Trump as the favourite, with Biden not impressing during the democratic primary race. But since the dual crisis of COVID-10 pandemic and black live matter protests (including Trump’s reaction to them) became the major issue in US politics, Trump has been losing ground steadily and Biden overlooks him as favourite. 

How prediction markets work? 

The prediction markets operate in the currency of the country in which they are based, say for example US$. For the US election, markets trade a Trump-asset, which pays out $1 after the election if Trump wins and 0$ otherwise. The Biden asset pays out $1 if Biden wins and $0 otherwise. 

Prediction markets always price these events between $0 and $1. This means the price of an asset can be interpreted as a probability of an event occurring. So if Trump asset trader at $0.4, then trump has a 40% chance of victory. It does not mean that “trump is going to lose the election” it means he is the underdog and will probably, but not certainly, lose. And the market quantifies these chances. However, whatever the market price, the inventor will still either get only $1 or $0 after the election results are announced. If most traders think an asset is overpriced, because the price exceeds the candidate’s chances, then they will sell and the market price will drop. Conversely, if most traders think an asset is underpriced, they will buy and the price increases. So, the market prices are a prediction of the election outcome based on the wisdom of crowds, a consensus forecast that tends to be better than the forecast of single experts.

Will Russia intervene in the upcoming US election once more?

Based on NY time reported, though intelligence officials have previously told lawmakers that Russia’s interference campaign was continuing, last week’s briefing included what appeared to be new information: That Russia intended to interfere with the 2020 democratic primaries as well as the general election. Russia interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to congress that angered Mr.Trump, who complained that democrats would use it against him.

Could the COVID19 disrupt the election?

 According to University of California Irvine Professor Richard L Hasen, an election-law expert, Trump or state governments could use their emergency powers to drastically curtail in person voting locations.

In the recently concluded Wisconsin primary, for instance, concerns about exposure to the virus, along with a shortage of volunteer poll-workers and election supplies, led to the closure of 175 of the 180 polling places in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city.  In a recent opinion survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans said they wouldn’t be comfortable going to a polling place to cast their ballot during the election public-health crisis. Such concerns have increased pressure on states to expand the availability of mail-in ballots for all voters in order to minimise the risk of viral exposure from in-person voting. Five states in the western US, including Washington, Oregon and Colorado, conduct their elections entirely via mail-in ballot. Others, like California, provide a postal ballot to anyone who requests it.

Is voting by mail leads to voter fraud? 

No, it isn’t. Numerous studies have shown that all forms of voting fraud are very rare in the United States. A panel that Mr Trump established to investigate election corruption was disbanded in 2018 after finding no evidence of fraud. Experts have said that voting by mail is less secure than voting in person, but it is still extremely rare to see broad cases of voter fraud.

Can Trump postpone an election with an execution order?

 Yes sure. Based on Article II of the constitution empowers congress to choose the timing of the general election. An 1845 federal law fixed the date as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. It would take a change in federal law to move that date. That would mean legislation enacted by congress, signed by the president and subject to challenge in the courts. 

Conclusion 

As global citizens, we are really concerned about how the US election works especially due to the COVID19 breakout. We really hope to see Justice, fairness and effectiveness in upcoming US elections which will be conducted November 3 2020, because it is really significant to choose the right leader in order to ensure social equity, sustainability, and peace. 

References

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