If he plays his cards well, Donald Trump could take advantage of the civil tensions that recently erupted in his country, whose re-election is weighed down by the pandemic and a struggling economy, believes a Quebec political scientist.
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The social crisis that shakes the United States does not seem to want to run out of steam, it which last week caused several professional sports leagues to temporarily suspend the games after the police intervention which seriously injured Jacob Blake, a black father of 29 years old, in the town of Kenosha (Wisconsin).
More worryingly, a shooting killed one Saturday night, in still unclear circumstances, on the outskirts of an anti-racist protest in Portland, Oregon, attended by pro-Trump supporters.
Two months before the presidential election, the issue has found itself at the forefront of the political scene, and Donald Trump has so far not shied away from exploiting the theme of law and order. , remarks Ginette Chenard, co-chair of the Observatory on the United States of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair.
The outgoing president will also visit Kenosha on Tuesday to “examine the damage caused by the riots” in Wisconsin, a state considered to be “pivotal” during the elections.
“His platform comes down to this: “Law and order”, And then that risks motivating many people to say to themselves“ he tells us that he will bring us peace in our suburbs ”, analyzes Ginette Chenard.
During the Republican convention, a few days ago, the outgoing president did not spare his opponent, going so far as to estimate that “no one will be safe in Joe Biden’s America”.
In response, the Democratic candidate, who denounced the violence while believing that the anti-racist demonstrations are “necessary”, holds a more calming speech. But his message seems to have more difficulty percolating.
An influence on the vote?
” [Trump] plays the demagogic card while Biden plays the opening, but that is not enough any more, we are in crisis, there is a racial crisis in the country and it is necessary to answer it by a reform ”, affirms Ms. Chenard.
Current tensions could have an impact on the tone and themes of the presidential campaign, but an influence on the vote is less certain, believes Pierre Martin, professor of political science at the University of Montreal and columnist at the University of Montreal. Newspaper, who observes that “the electorate is very rigid” and ” [qu’]there is little transfer in voting intentions ”.
“It may have an impact to a certain extent on the motivation of certain voters to participate in the election, but is it going to have an impact of persuasion, that is to say to convince people who were determined to vote on one side to change their vote? That would surprise me, ”he assesses.