The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election: The Final Debate

As the quadrennial U.S. Presidential Election draws ever closer, reflection upon the feats and fiascos of the Trump administration is imperative and reactions towards the final debate will be a deciding factor for voters. On the 2nd of November, the results should be in and America, along with the rest of the world, should have their questions answered (and perhaps also their prayers) after four long and surreal years. But focusing upon the final debate of the election race, how did both nominees shape up following the appalling first attempt, and how might both their performances sway voters?

With the election only days away, the public profile of both candidates will ultimately be the defining factor in the politics of populism and the fuel that will burn for both Biden and Trump is the media in all its ever-evolving forms. The final presidential debate took place on the 22nd of October and was the zenith of media coverage before election day and was far more mellow than the preceding spat of personal attacks likened to a juvenile squabble, it finally allowed for both parties to take to the floor in a semi-dignified manner. Analysts settled the score proclaiming a Biden victory, with attention mostly upon coronavirus, Black Lives Matter protests and institutional racism within the American police force and wider society. Focus upon improving the Affordable Care Act also dominated the former vice president’s rhetoric, which has become especially relevant since Trump has sabotaged the first viable American healthcare system for generations during a global pandemic. Naturally policies towards coronavirus in America took centre stage with Trump proclaiming:

“We have a vaccine that’s coming, it’s ready, it’s going to be announced within weeks”

Although evidence of such a vaccine remains unfounded and experts state it may take years before a mass-produced vaccine is available. Concerning coronavirus and the death toll of over 230,000 in the U.S. with cases rising daily, Biden took a measured approach focusing on testing and precautions

“I would make sure everyone is encouraged to wear a mask… I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing”

Throughout the debate topics moved from foreign affairs concerning the threats of China and Russia as economic powers and their interference with the Trump Administration towards national concerns. Personal attacks were made as Trump returned to the weak accusations made against Biden’s son, Hunter, of wrongdoing in the Ukraine and China with alleged connections with two energy companies that would undermine American attitudes to the regions. However Biden rebutted stating that Trump was “the only guy to have made money from China”as allegations of the president having business involvements and a bank account would weaken the current trade war being waged between the Trump administration and the communist superpower.

Further dialogue ranged from the controversial campaigns to defund the police, immigrants crossing the Mexican border, the failure of the border wall and replacing Obamacare – which the president has had a fierce vendetta against. Civil debate soon descended into momentary bickering but welcome alterations had been made since the disastrous first debate as the candidates’ microphones were muted for the first 2 minutes in which the opposing speaker had to answer opening questions. In a presidential race unlike any other, America has but hours left to pick a side.

Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President Flickr