Donald Trump and Joe Biden will meet for one final presidential debate on Thursday before the November 3 elections. Recent polls have shown Trump trailing behind Biden, especially in key states, though by a narrow margin. “Worried about losing the White House, some advisers are urging Trump to trade his aggressive demeanor from the first debate for a lower-key style that puts Biden more squarely in the spotlight. But it’s unclear whether the president will listen,” the Associated Press reported.
According to the AP, the last presidential debate has a significant impact on the election outcome and hence will be closely analyzed. The news agency said that the 2020 elections are going to be one of the most contentious in election history in the US.
In the run-up to the elections, analysts have been discussing all the possible ways in which a win will be possible for Trump given his performance in polls. According to the AP, “While Trump has multiple roads to victory, his most likely route hinges on winning two crucial battleground states: Florida and Pennsylvania. If he can claim both and hold onto other Sun Belt states he narrowly carried in 2016 — North Carolina and Arizona — while playing defense in Georgia and Ohio, which he won handily in 2016 but where Biden is now competitive, he will win.
The Associated Press also reported that the US government has accused Iran of sending hundreds of emails targeting Democratic voters residing in battleground states in what appeared to be intimidating them into voting for Trump. This report has put into focus the US government’s concerns of foreign interference in the US elections this year as well. The AP reported that US government officials claim “both Russia and Iran (have) obtained voter registration information, though such data is sometimes easily accessible and there was no allegation either country had hacked a database for it.”
Former US President Barack Obama was out on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania endorsing Joe Biden, around the same time as Trump who was also out campaigning elsewhere. The BBC reported Trump throwing barbs in Obama’s direction, referencing the 2016 elections. “There was nobody that campaigned harder for crooked Hillary Clinton than Obama, right? He was all over the place,” Trump had said.
Obama pointed to Trump’s tweeting and his mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak. A BBC report quoted Obama saying that if Biden won, the US was “not going to have a president who goes out of his way to insult anybody who doesn’t support him or threaten them with the jail. That’s not normal presidential behaviour.”
The BBC has a complete guide on the final presidential election debate on Thursday, with details on when and where to watch it, as well as more on the changed format. It also contains an explainer on what is going to be different in this debate and why it is important.