The American president and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, will face each other this Thursday evening as planned in the initial schedule of the presidential debates but separately. Donald Trump having refused to participate in a virtual confrontation because of health restrictions, the two candidates nevertheless kept the starting format which consists of a “town hall”, a discussion with the public supervised by a journalist moderator.
Donald Trump will therefore debate with a panel of voters assembled by the NBC channel in Miami (Florida) while Joe Biden will answer questions from the audience invited by the ABC channel in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). These two states were won by the Republican in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. But Joe Biden is now in the lead, according to the Real Clear Politics site, by just under 3 points in Florida, where Trump’s property is located in Mar-a-Lago and 7 points in Pennsylvania, Home state of the Democrat and where the Democratic Ticket campaign HQ is located.
The issue of senior voting
According to electoral experts, there is no doubt that in the event of failure in Florida, the American president would see his re-election very clearly compromised. One of the challenges in this state is to convince seniors who represent a very large segment of the electorate. Voters over 65 gave Trump 17 more points over Hillary in 2016, but polls today give Biden 15 more points in that sample.
The Covid-19 crisis is largely responsible for this turnaround given the concerns of seniors due to the president’s erratic management of the epidemic, the latter being accused by his 77-year-old opponent of “irresponsibility” in the face of the seriousness of the pandemic which has already killed more than 216,000 people.
This televised meeting with voters this Thursday evening (at 2 a.m. French time) will be the penultimate of the campaign before the presidential election on November 3. The last debate between the two men, still scheduled to be a face-to-face, is to take place on October 22 in Nashville (Tennessee).