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US 2020: all the election latest from the New Statesman

Latest updates

18th September 2020

46 days

Podcast: Our Climate Future

The New Statesman’s World Review podcast with Jeremy Cliffe and India Bourke.

17th September 2020

47 days

Noam Chomsky: The world is at the most dangerous moment in human history

The US professor warns that the climate crisis, the threat of nuclear war and rising authoritarianism mean the risk of human extinction has never been greater. 

16th September 2020

48 days

In search of a US beyond coronavirus

Driving through some of the most desolate reaches of the continental US, our writer hoped to find places untouched by Covid-19. What he saw instead was the true reach of the American government.

15th September 2020

49 days

US presidential election swing states: Is 2020 the year Texas and Arizona will finally swing?

Demographics have shifted over time, but that doesn’t mean voting patterns have changed with them.

10th September 2020

54 days

Joaquin Castro: the Congressman hoping to transform US foreign policy

A progressive contender in the race to chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee is already changing the conversation.

10th September 2020

54 days

Podcast: The Riled West

The New Statesman’s World Review podcast with Jeremy Cliffe and Emily Tamkin.

10th September 2020

54 days

US presidential election 2020: Can Donald Trump cling on to his base?

To win re-election, the US president needs to unite his “red wall” core vote, while sowing doubt among Joe Biden’s.

9th September 2020

55 days

Bob Woodward has Trump tapes (and has had them for months)

Emily Tamkin writes:

Veteran journalist Bob Woodward has a new book on Trump coming out, which is called Rage. Fittingly, that is what many Americans felt when they learned that Woodward, with whom the president agreed to speak 18 times for the book, had Trump on tape in February saying that he knew how dangerous the novel coronavirus was. Then, in March, Trump told Woodward that he was downplaying the severity of the virus so as not to cause panic. We are learning about this now, in September, after roughly 190,000 Americans died of COVID-19.

9th September 2020

55 days

US presidential election 2020: what the latest polling shows

Ben Walker writes:

 

A slew of new polls in the aftermath of the Republican National Convention record a number of shifts, but not necessarily, as yet, trends. The first is that voter certainty and confidence in both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have drifted somewhat, particularly among minorities and non-college educated whites respectively. In Florida, a new survey shows Joe Biden leading Latinos, but with a much reduced lead from what Hillary Clinton had in 2016.

 

Similar surveys elsewhere bump up Trump’s chances in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina; but reduced enthusiasm among non-college educated whites has gifted Biden with larger leads in Michigan and Arizona.

 

We’ll need one more week of surveys to gauge whether we’re seeing the beginning of a sustained shift, or just a bit of poll noise. Nonetheless, the New Statesman model has upped Trump’s chances of keeping control of the White House from one-in-ten 50 days ago to now near one-in-five.

 

For more on Biden's chances of securing the presidency, see my analysis here.

9th September 2020

55 days

Joe Biden must heed the lessons of Andrew Johnson’s presidency: unity, but not at any cost

If Biden wins he will inherit an economic crisis and divided society. He should seize the chance to build something better than what we had before Trump. 

9th September 2020

55 days

Kim Darroch's Diary: Why Trump succeeds, late night walks and the myth of the “oven ready” Brexit deal

Joe Biden has to walk a difficult tightrope if he is to win back the surburban women living in the US swing states. 

8th September 2020

56 days

How Joe Biden could still lose the US presidential election

Nearly 60 per cent of Biden supporters say their vote is directed against Trump rather than for the Democratic nominee.

7th September 2020

57 days

Four perspectives on US democracy in peril

Jeremy Cliffe writes:

 

The big question in this US election is: will Joe Biden or Donald Trump win? But another, just as important and related one, also looms over the campaign, election day and its aftermath: in what state will American democracy emerge from the coming period? So the New Statesman has asked four contributors to assess the ways in which the next weeks and months could permanently damage the institutions and norms that govern the US.  

 

New Statesman US editor Emily Tamkin writes on the Trump Factor: how the president could underine American democracy by undermining the legitimacy of the result before and after polling day.

 

New Statesman special correspondent Sophie McBain writes on how a polarised media environment gets in the way of an informed and open debate

 

Nina Jankowicz, author of How to Lose the Information War, writes on how disinformation, possibly sponsored by outside powers, could distort the campaign

 

Theodore R. Johnson of the Brennan Center for Justice writes on the danger of voter suppression amid the Covid-19 pandemic

6th September 2020

58 days

US democracy in peril: will disinformation decide the 2020 election?

Individuals will be the main line of defence against online misinformation.

5th September 2020

59 days

US democracy in peril: the crisis facing the US media

In an era of hostility towards the press, strong investigative reporting is harder than ever.

 

4th September 2020

60 days

What story do the polls tell?

Emily Tamkin writes:

In almost every major poll, Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump in the polls. But the longer version is more complicated. A new Monmouth poll out this week has Trump and Biden virtually tied in Pennsylvania. Men, in particular, have changed their minds in favour of the incumbent: Trump now has a 19 point lead with men, compared to a two point lead in July. Biden has also lost some of his lead with voters under 50 in that state, from a 29 point advantage two months ago to a nine point lead now. And, at least in Pennsylvania, Trump's warning about the loss of the "suburban lifestyle dream" and crime coming to the suburbs (which aren't wholly based in reality, but no matter), are working: 39 percent of independent voters in the state are apparently worried about people moving into the suburbs who "may bring in crime and lower property values." Pennsylvania is, of course, just one state. But it's important to remember that, for Americans, the reality is that the election is decided not by who wins more votes, but who wins more votes in a handful of states, which is probably why betting markets are now putting their money on Trump.

 

Follow the New Statesman's poll tracker here.

4th September 2020

60 days

US democracy in peril: Covid-19 and the threat of voter suppression

Lower turnout in the 2020 race for the White House could play to the Republicans’ advantage.

 

4th September 2020

60 days

On the fascist tradition in American politics

Jeremy Cliffe writes:

Sarah Churchwell, professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London, has an essay in this week's issue of the New Statesman on the fascist tradition in American politics. Churchwell sees elements of that tradition in Donald Trump's America.

 

She writes:

 

"Whatever one’s opinion of Donald Trump, there is no denying that his political success to date represents its own kind of triumph of the will, one built on a political carnivalesque. Trump’s manifest need for the adoration of his crowd, his desire to exhibit to the world the cheering hordes of his political rallies, may seem like an ersatz copy of the authentic rallies of fascist leaders of yore. The fact that show business is at the heart of Trump’s unstable political ­project sometimes leads to the argument that Trump isn’t fascist, but merely an ­entertainer. Fascism was always about entertainment, however: the deep root of its poison was that it made hatred entertaining."

 

You can read her full essay here and listen to her discuss her arguments, and review the US presidential election campaign, on this recent episode of our World Review podcast.

3rd September 2020

61 days

Federal government to states: Get ready to distribute vaccine before election

Emily Tamkin writes:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a letter to governors to prepare to distribute a vaccine by November 1. Given that that is two days before the presidential election, some have expressed concern that the Trump administration is rushing a vaccine's distribution for political reasons, ultimately undermining the effectiveness of a potential vaccine in the process.

3rd September 2020

61 days

US democracy in peril: Don't underestimate the Trump Factor

The greatest threat to American norms in this presidential election is the president himself.

 

2nd September 2020

62 days

How mask wearing revealed the great American fracture

In a culture of hyper-polarised political identities, Americans now wear their politics on their faces. 

2nd September 2020

62 days

The QAnon conspiracy theory is absurd but dangerous. Politicians must confront it

Conspiracy theories are a symptom of a failed status quo – the left must offer progressive alternatives. 

2nd September 2020

62 days

Son of a milkman beats a Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate race

Emily Tamkin writes:

Representative Joe Kennedy III has conceded to Senator Edward Markey, ending a heated primary race for Markey's Massachusetts Senate seat.

Though incumbents normally win their elections, there was something more at play in the Bay State. Kennedy started the election polling ahead of Markey by double digits. And there was a reason he was expected to win: no Kennedy had ever lost an election in the state of Massachusetts, the state that birthed the careers of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy. It looked like he would oust Markey, ending his over four decades in Congress.

 

But though Markey was not known as a progressive per se for the majority of his career, he was the Senate co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, progressive superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's House bill, and a supporter of Medicare for All. He hit Kennedy on the very thing that made him popular: his family name. "Tell your father right now that you don't want money to go into a super PAC that runs negative ads," he said in one debate. Perhaps most famously, he concluded one ad, which stressed his roots as the son of a milkman, flipping JFK's most famous line on its head. "It's time," the senator said, "to start asking what your country can do for you."

 

Kennedy, meanwhile, struggled to articulate to voters why, exactly, he wanted the job. To say "generational change" wasn't enough when younger voters themselves were some of the strongest supporters of Markey, and it is harder to argue that one's opponent is out of touch with the common man and woman when one is literally a Kennedy. A Kennedy ad toward the end of the campaign stressed the family name. "He reminds me of Bobby and Jack and Teddy," Ethel Kennedy, the candidate's 92 year old grandmother, told the camera. But, even in Massachusetts, that isn't enough anymore. 

 

It is unlikely the United States has seen the end of political ambitions from the Kennedy family or even Joe Kennedy III individually. He may be leaving Congress in January, but he became a congressman in his early thirties and is still only 39. That he ran for the Senate at all suggests that he has dreams of bigger, more powerful things. But for at least one election, Massachusetts voters chose the son of a dairyman over a dynasty. 

2nd September 2020

62 days

US election 2020: What Donald Trump misunderstands about American suburbia

The suburbs are more diverse, more foreign and poorer than Republican hyperventilation allows.

28th August 2020

67 days

All the president's enabling men: a round-up of the 2020 Republican Convention

This year's RNC showed that in place of a policy platform, the Republican Party is relying on personality and power.

28th August 2020

67 days

Why Donald Trump isn’t Hitler – he poses a new threat

US liberals who compare the president with the Nazi leader are externalising responsibility for their country’s failings.

 

 

28th August 2020

67 days

The New Statesman’s 2020 US presidential election forecast explained

For the first time, the New Statesman has built a model to forecast the outcome of a presidential election.

28th August 2020

67 days

Welcome to the New Statesman’s US 2020 elections hub

Jeremy Cliffe writes:

With little over two months to go until Americans choose their president, as well as 435 representatives and 35 senators, it is clear that the elections on 3 November will be unlike any others in modern US history. Not only has Donald Trump’s presidency upended myriad norms of American politics - a trend that will likely continue in the final run to polling day - but the campaigning and voting will take place during a global pandemic that has infected and killed more people in the US than any other country. The term “unpredictable” is often used at political crossroads like this one, but rarely has it been more apt. Polls, debates, rallies, turnout and even something as fundamental as whether the president would accept a defeat are all wreathed in uncertainty.

 

To help New Statesman readers make sense of the twists and turns in the weeks building up to 3 November, on election night itself, and in the potentially turbulent period afterwards, we are bringing all of our coverage and analysis together in one place: our US 2020 elections hub.

 

Here you can follow:
 

- All the latest from the New Statesman's US editor Emily Tamkin, leading our US coverage in Washington, DC and on the campaign trail

 

- Commentary and analysis from the whole New Statesman international team, New Statesman magazine contributors such as Sarah Churchwell and Gary Younge, and from sector experts across the New Statesman Media Group

 

- Our regularly updated results model and the numbers behind it

 

- Polling trends, maps and analysis from the New Statesman’s data team

 

- Special data features telling the mega-stories behind the election

 

- Notifications from our World Review newsletter

 

- US election episodes of our World Review podcast

 

- Our 3 November election night live blog, where we will be analysing the results as they come in

 

This launch is the latest step in the New Statesman’s international growth. Since the spring we have expanded our coverage of global affairs (including the politics, culture and geopolitics of the US), added new team members and launched a new international homepage, newsletter and podcast. (For unlimited access to all of our journalism you can subscribe here at a special introductory rate.) On this hub, as elsewhere, we will cover not just the headline news but also the trends, forces and ideas behind it. So bookmark this page to keep informed about what really matters in this remarkable US election season with the New Statesman.

 

28th August 2020

67 days

US presidential election 2020: is Donald Trump or Joe Biden leading in our poll tracker?

 

28th August 2020

67 days

US 2020 presidential election forecast model: will Donald Trump or Joe Biden win?

 

27th August 2020

68 days

Survey: US and UK publics are most pessimistic about their governments' responses to Covid-19

A Pew Research Centre poll of 14 countries shows that nations hit hardest by Covid-19 are more likely to judge their governments' performance poorly.

26th August 2020

69 days

The Democrats need a plan to stop Donald Trump from stealing the election

What would a mass, peaceful protest movement against the theft of an election look like? 

26th August 2020

69 days

US election 2020: Do not be fooled by the polling. Donald Trump could very well win a second term

There are three key reasons to question the new consensus that Joe Biden will become president. 

26th August 2020

69 days

Podcast: American Corruption

The New Statesman’s World Review podcast with Jeremy Cliffe and Emily Tamkin.

 

21st August 2020

74 days

Who was the Democratic National Convention for?

The Democrats will soon learn whether their big tent strategy can hold dramatically different desires.

 

20th August 2020

75 days

Steve Bannon and the art of the con

How the arrest of Trump’s former adviser on fraud charges highlights a wider culture of political manipulation.

 

19th August 2020

76 days

Most voters don’t love Biden, but he has built a coalition of the non-woke and it’s working for him

Biden is not a natural progressive, which makes it hard for the Republicans to demonise him as an America-hating radical.

23rd July 2020

103 days

US election swing states: Virginia is for… Democrats?

The story of how the former Confederacy capital turned blue is one of demographic shifts, a Democratic political machine and Donald Trump.