Senin, 02 November 2020

Q+A panellists believe a Joe Biden election victory is most likely but fear civil unrest in the United States post-voting - ABC News

Donald Trump's chances of winning another term as US President hinge on the female vote and a broken system that badly needs to be overhauled, US political experts have told Q+A.

But when pressed to pick a winner, the panel of experts — journalists Greg Sheridan and Damien Cave, former senior White House staffer Kim Hoggard, political sociologist Salvatore Balbones and international security expert Lydia Khalil — found it hard to choose between Mr Trump and challenger Joe Biden.

However, two of them did agree that female voters probably held the keys to the White House.

Ms Khalil said she could not pick a winner but thought the question was whether "the white women who supported President Trump will support him again?"

"And will he get enough of the Latino vote in key states to support him in the same way?"

While she questioned whether Mr Trump would have those areas of support, Ms Hoggard said that women would vote and in her view they would vote for Mr Biden.


"I think this year is the year for women to determine who the next president of the United States is going to be," Ms Hoggard told host Hamish Macdonald.

"I think they're coming out in droves.

"They came out in 2018, overwhelmingly, they not only voted in record numbers, they ran for office and they won elected office.

The Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, said he expected Mr Biden to be the 46th president of the United States.

"The polls are stronger for Biden than they were for Hillary Clinton four years ago," Sheridan said.

"I think the ball is strongly in Biden's court but there is a 10 per cent chance or something that it falls for Trump, he will sneak home … but I think the odds are heavily for Biden."

Call for overhaul of 'broken' electoral college system

One of the other issues raised was the electoral college system, where a candidate needs 270 votes to become president and can lose the election even if they win the nationwide popular vote.

That scenario played out in 2016 when Donald Trump lost the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton but secured 304 electoral votes to her 227.

Cave, the former Miami bureau chief for the New York Times, said the surge of voters in typically red states Texas and Arizona could be crucial.

Ms Hoggard said the electoral college system was dated and called for it to be overhauled as she cited the pivotal 20 votes on offer in Pennsylvania, which could be the most crucial state in the election.


"This is my point about the electoral system — Pennsylvania shouldn't be the only place defining the election," Ms Hoggard said.

"It is one of the most important states along with Florida but the thing is there are a half a dozen states in America that get all the attention.

"This is not something in the constitution and it could be changed, but it has not been changed. And what you have is a system where a small proportion of American voters get all the attention at the expense of the rest of the country."

Mr Balbones disagreed and said the system "has worked for more than 200 years".

Ms Hoggard that was the exact reason it needed to be changed: "It is 200 years old, it needs an update".

Will there be blood in the streets?

The show also heard a warning that a disputed election outcome could lead to "terrible civil unrest" in a country which has become increasingly polarised over recent years.

"I think people would be extremely angry at the electoral college system, they would feel that they had been robbed, and so forth, and you might get real civil discord on the streets."


Asked by Macdonald why he thought any potential violence would be more likely to come from Biden supporters than Trump supporters, he said: "There are some very violent, horrible, ugly people who are Trump supporters, but they're not really a mass movement".

"If Trump loses, if Biden is ahead by 20,000 votes on the night in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, then it's all over, red rover, and no court is going to steal the election for Trump.

"At the very most, Trump may be able to get some ballots tossed out.

"I think there would be a legal conflict but there is no indication to me that the military or judiciary or anybody else would do anything unconstitutional to keep Trump in Pennsylvania Avenue."

Ms Khalil agreed with Sheridan's assessment that a close election would cause unrest, but she said it would be more likely to come from Trump supporters.

"I think the worst outcome, the worst potential for violence, would be a close race, a contested race, a Bush-Gore situation," Ms Khalil said, referring to the stalemate over the outcome of the 2000 election between George W Bush and Al Gore.

"If there is a decisive victory either way for Trump or Biden, that is the best-case scenario that we could probably have.

"The incumbent President himself has incited violence on the debate stage, which is extremely unprecedented.

"If we are going to be seeing violence it will be likely as a response to, as an instigation from, some of the far-right militias, for example, the Trump-supporting street gangs and the like in response to mass protest movements if they occur from the left."

Cave then spoke of his fears of what may happen if the election came down to something like a tight vote in Pennsylvania.

"The nightmare scenario that I think about is the election drags on for several days in Pennsylvania and it is the state that decides who wins or loses," Cave said.

"There is a handful of poll workers in some places counting the votes and Trump calls out to his people to say, 'Go to those states and make sure the votes are counted,' and then you have unrest in the place where the votes are being counted and that makes it almost impossible to know who won or lost.

Watch the full episode on iview or via the Q+A Facebook page.

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2020-11-02 13:34:00Z

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