Trump’s infection tilts election more in Biden’s favor

Washington: Joe Biden is surging in the battle for the White House with less than four weeks to go until Election Day. Latest polls put the Democratic nominee for President’s lead over the incumbent at 11 percentage points on an average and in battleground states, his lead as per RealClearPolitics is 4.6 as of October 8.

But while notpartisan RealClearPolitics (that projects averages of reputed polls) still shows only 226 assured Electoral Votes for Biden, 125  for Trump and 187 Toss-ups, CNN in their latest Electoral College outlook has projected that the former vice president has crossed the 270 threshold to be the next President. They have done so by adding the electoral votes from Dem leaning states, that brings his total to 290 electoral votes.

The swing towards Biden-Harris ticket has increased after the first Presidential debate and  President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. Trump remains infected with Covid, is in quarantine at the White House, and not able to go on the campaign trail for some more days. His campaign finds itself in its worst political position since the start of the campaign season, says CNN. The President also got more blame than Biden for the raucous debate last Tuesday while both candidates crossed the line. With sliding numbers, that debate was Trump’s last best chance to turn things around before millions of Americans began casting their ballots.

Trump did not help his cause when after taking treatment at Walter Reeds for Covid, he told  the country not to worry about it.

In contrast, Joe Biden appears to have built back the so-called blue wall across the Midwest that Trump busted through in 2016 to secure his victory.

As for the Electoral College, CNN says that going by the new polls that meet its reporting standards, it is moving  battlegrounds including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin back into their Democratic-leaning positions which Trump won narrowly four years ago.

Meanwhile, in the fast moving news cycle, the Presidential Debates Commission announced that the next town hall style debate scheduled for next week will be held virtually. Biden’s campaign on Thursday swiftly agreed to the format, but President Trump said he will not participate.  “I am not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump said on Fox Business. “I am not going to waste my time on a virtual debate.” The move to virtual was seen as needed by members of the debate commission given the uncertainty around the President’s health.

Politically, if Trump skips the debate, he’ll be deprived of a platform that he needs at a time when his campaign is trailing. The first debate  was watched by more than 73 million people.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Videograb from CNN video)

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