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2020 U.S. presidential election

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Jesus, this map is fucking terrifying.[note 1]
A guide to
U.S. Politics
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Hail to the Chief?
Persons of interest
Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.
—Michael Cohen - Former Lawyer to President Donald Trump.[1]

The 2020 United States presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will be the 59th election, and will pit the historically unpopular incumbent Republican Donald Trump against the somewhat more popular Democratic challenger Joe Biden with Kamala Harris as his running mate. The Democratic primary itself was almost as intense and bitter as a general election, and set the grim tone for the contest, which would later become marred with the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic destruction, alongside intense social unrest from police brutality and white supremacy, fueling a creeping sense of authoritarianism and outright fascism from the executive branch. This is shaping up to be one of the most profoundly bleak elections in the post-war history of the United States, and is very indicative of the deep problems facing the nation.

The key issue[edit]


At this point, you could actually begin and end this section with this issue, since this seems to be the most immediate issue dominating the minds of voters and causing a dramatic effect on the lives of so many Americans. As of October 3, 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States worse than any other country with over 208,000 deaths and over 6 million infections.[2] If that’s not bad enough, the leader of the free world has denied, lied, politicized, and basically flipped the bird at every chance to look like a leader as well as ignored or worsened the underlying circumstances that made the pandemic especially bad such as leaving vacant the pandemic response team, failing to address the debilitating healthcare infrastructure, and helping to widen the gap of income inequality.[citation needed] Bear in mind, Trump stated that Obama should have resigned after the Ebola crisis, which killed FOUR Americans.[citation needed] Needless to say, many Americans are not pleased with Trump’s handling, which has hurt his approvals considerably.[citation needed] In October, the virus finally caught up with Trump, infecting him, his wife, and a rapidly growing number of White House officials.

Other key issues[edit]

Racial Issues[edit]

On May 25th, 2020, a man named George Floyd was brutally murdered by a police officer, Derek Chauvin. This sparked outrage throughout the country with many taking to the streets and protesting. The question is now how to handle this issue, such as whether the amounts of funding given to the police could perhaps be re-allocated to other agencies better served to help people. Not helping is that the president of the country is not interested in solving these issues but is very interested in scaremongering about how Antifa and BLM are "terrorists" (rhetoric sure to delight the white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Trump's base) to secure re-election.[citation needed]


While unemployment is at 7.9%, the U.S. is currently engaged with a trade warWikipedia with China, and tariffs with countries including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. Further, trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement resulting in the United States–Mexico–Canada AgreementWikipedia, which is largely the same.[3]


Trump is basically running concentration camps...[citation needed]

Have fun trying to fix that crime against humanity mess.


The GOP is still insistent on saving America from the death panels repealing the Affordable Care Act, despite not having a plan to replace it, or a plan in general beyond destroying it.

The Democrats are somewhere between 'the ACA is more or less fine as is', to 'scrapping it entirely and replacing it with Universal health care'. With Covid-19 having hit the United States hard, the accessibility of healthcare has arguably become even more major of an election issue: one party is clearly campaigning to expand access, the other is clearly campaigning to limit it.

Climate Change[edit]

Trump and Pence don't believe in climate change and both support the fossil fuel industry. As president, Trump has pulled America out of the Paris AgreementWikipedia and doubled down on everything dirty: coal, oil, ancient diesel engineWikipedia, while also opposing wind turbines because they ruin the view off his shitty golf courses cause cancer kill birds.[4] Biden and Harris support the "framework" of the Green New Deal and a "limit" on fracking.

Background noise[edit]

Again: 2016 redux, jet fuel, more intense.

  • SCOTUS - Self explanatory... Wait Ruth Bader Ginsburg just died? Oh dear...
  • Student loan debt - It's $1.6 trillion and it's really starting to wreak havoc with things like the housing market and birth rates.[5]
  • Tech Giants - The massive size of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple with increasing dominance in all markets and size, in a manner that reminds one of Standard Oil CompanyWikipedia and Ma BellWikipedia
  • Allies - Trump has done a fairly decent job of embarrassing the United States and pissing off most of its allies. Whoever is next will need to patch up these relations.
  • Taxes - Trump will likely seek to increase tax cuts for his rich friends who haven't quite reached billionaire status...while most Democratic candidates hint at or promise they will reverse these cuts and some will impose new taxes including a possible tax on high-tech companies. Republican hysteria about new taxes is already rampant on social media.
  • Russia - 2016 election aside, Russia is still being Russia: with the ongoing Russian military intervention in UkraineWikipedia, the annexation of CrimeaWikipedia, weapons sales to NATO ally Turkey, the 2018 poisoning of Sergei SkripalWikipedia and the emerging front with them in the Arctic as the ice melts.
  • Iran - Trump, in his quest to destroy everything to do with Obama, left the Iran nuclear dealWikipedia. [6] After reimposing sanctions on Iran, Iran returned to enriching uranium. Further, several incidents have occurred between Iran and other nations in the Strait of Hormuz which has been ratcheting up tensions between Iran and the United States.
  • Racism - When all else fails, play the race card.[citation needed]
  • Democratic Schism - Democrats agree Trump needs to go, but his rivals are split on whether he represents the symptom of a larger problem that mandates radical change or if this was a fluke and they should stick with Clinton-era policies. This divide, with progressives claiming that moderates support half-measures that make issues worse and moderates claiming this is hysteria that could alienate voters, will certainly be used by the GOP to cost the Democrats the election by lowering turnout and making them so divided they cannot govern effectively if they win, setting the stage for Republicans to take back power.

The terrifying reality is that by November, almost everything in this list could be irrelevant, since we could very well enter an economic meltdown on the scale of 2007 by then. Never mind, it already happened!

Time line[edit]

The 2020 US presidential election campaign officially began in the summer of 2020; in reality the campaign began days after Trump's election in 2016. Trump announced his bid for reelection in 2017.[note 2][7] At the same time media speculation about possible Democratic candidates began and candidates suggested or even confirmed their candidacies as early as 2018. The first debate for Democratic candidates was held in early 2019, followed by primary season in early 2020. Conventions were held in the summer of 2020 and will be followed by debates, intense campaigning and negative political ads, Trump theatrics, social media hysteria and the actual election in November 2020.

Party conventions[edit]

Four parties held conventions in 2020; the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party and Libertarian Party.


There are four debates scheduled for the 2020 presidential race, three for the presidential nominees, and one for the vice presidential nominees. Candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden have both agreed to participate in the debate.

Date Day of week Location City and State Type Moderators
29 September, 2020 Tuesday Case Western Reserve UniversityWikipedia Cleveland, Ohio Presidential Chris WallaceWikipedia
7 October, 2020 Wednesday The University of UtahWikipedia Salt Lake City, Utah Vice Presidential Susan PageWikipedia
Canceled October 15, 2020 Thursday Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Miami, Florida Presidential Steve Scully
October 22, 2020 Thursday Belmont UniversityWikipedia Nashville, Tennessee Presidential Kristen WelkerWikipedia

Each debate will be 90 minutes (1 hour, 30 minutes) from 9:00 to 10:30 pm Eastern Time, with no commercial breaks.[8]

The first and third presidential debate (Cleveland and Nashville) will be divided into six 15-minute segments, the topics of these segments are selected by the moderator and announced a week beforehand. The second presidential debate (Miami) would have been a town hall format using people from around Miami. The vice presidential debate will consist of nine 10-minute long segments.[9] On 2 September, 2020, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the debates.[10]

The second presidential debate[edit]

The Friday following the first presidential debate, held on 29 September, 2020, President Trump announced he had tested positive for coronavirus. The 2nd presidential debate, scheduled for 15 October, 2020 was only 13 days after the announcement of the positive test, which would still fall within the CDC's recommended quarantine timeline of 14 days. Further in the days following the announcement, it was revealed that the Trump administration made no attempts to inform the Biden campaign of the positive test, and that Trump had not actually been tested before the debate as was required due to him 'arriving late'.[11][12]

The Commission announced on 8 October, 2020 that the 15 October debate would be done virtually, to ensure physical separation of the candidates and moderator due to concerns over the Trump's positive test. However, the Trump campaign almost immediately slammed this change and said they would have no part in the debate. Instead they'd hold a rally at the same time as the debate, on 15 October. After that announcement, Biden agreed to do a town hall, the type of debate that had been scheduled, on ABC with George Stephanopoulos.[13][14] The following day, on 9 October, 2020, the Commission released a statement that the 15 October debate would not be held, citing statements from both campaigns indicating they would take part in alternative events on the 15th. The last debate on 22 October, 2020 is still scheduled to occur.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. It's the same electoral map as 2016.
  2. Seriously, he filed paperwork with the Federal Election CommissionWikipedia to start fundraising for the 2020 election on 20 January 2017, the day he was inaugurated.
  3. Moved due to the 2019-20 COVID-19 outbreak.


  1. Mindock, Clark. What would happen if Trump refused to leave office after 2020 election loss?, Independent. 16 June, 2019.
  2. Murphy, Joe; Wu, Jiachuan; Chiwaya, Nigel; Muccari, Robin. NBC News. 7 April, 2020, updated daily. Graphic: Coronavirus deaths in the U.S., per day.
  3. Kirby, Jen, USMCA, Trump’s new NAFTA deal, explained in 500 words, Vox. 20 June, 2019.
  4. Plumer, Brad, We Fact-Checked President Trump’s Dubious Claims on the Perils of Wind Power, New York Times. 3 April, 2019.
  5. Friedmann, Sarah, Student Loans are Destroying Millennials’ Homeownership Ambitions, The Daily Beast. 5 June, 2019.
  6. Lawless, Jill, New U.K. Memo Leak Claims President Trump Pulled Out of Iran Nuclear Deal to Spite Obama, Time. 14 July, 2019.
  7. Herbert, Geoff. President Trump launches first campaign ad for 2020 election -- 1282 days away, 1 May, 2017.
  8. Commission on Presidential Debates. July 27, 2020. Statement: First Presidential Debate.
  9. Commission on Presidential Debates. June 23, 2020. Statement: Second Presidential Debate.
  10. Commission on Presidential Debates. September 2, 2020. CPD Announces 2020 Debate Moderators.
  11. Melendez, Pilar. Kirell, Andrew. Vox. October 2, 2020. Chris Wallace: Trump Arrived at Debate Too Late for COVID-19 Test.
  12. Nilsen, Ella. Vox. October 2, 2020. Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus after debate with Trump.
  13. Svokos, Alexandra. Verhovek, John. Santucci,John. Faulders, Katherine. ABC News. October 9, 2020. 2nd presidential debate between Biden and Trump canceled.
  14. Commission on Presidential Debates. October 8, 2020. CPD Announces Second Presidential Debate Will Be Virtual.
  15. Commission on Presidential Debates. October 9, 2020. Statement by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD): October 15 Presidential Debate Will Not Proceed.