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Donald Trump vs Joe Biden: How do the Republican and Democratic policies compare in the US election race?

Strengths: Mr Trump has unshakeable loyalty from a core base of supporters, with more than a third of the country consistently supporting him, and showed in 2016 he can come from behind in the polls to claim victory. Polls show Americans trust Mr Trump with the economy more than Mr Biden, a key issue for many voters. The president also enjoys the advantage of being the incumbent which gives him the opportunity to use the White House as a backdrop for major announcements in the coming weeks.

Weaknesses: Mr Trump’s great political strength – his ability to draw huge crowds to campaign rallies – has been hampered by lockdown restrictions because of the coronavirus. Amid criticism of his handling of the pandemic, Mr Trump has a challenge to hold onto older and suburban voters who have been hit hard by the virus.

What is Trump’s second term agenda? 

Mr Trump has laid out a second-term agenda that will focus on jobs, taxes and the economy if he is re-elected. Mr Trump has taken credit for the booming economy the US was enjoying before the coronavirus pandemic, and has vowed to rebuild it. The Trump campaign has also heavily promoted a “law and order” message in its policy proposals in response to the violence and protesting that has occured in US cities over the summer. Other promises in the 10-point agenda are a little more loosely worded, such as a pledge to “drain the swamp”.

What are his key policy promises?

Job creation

Mr Trump promises to revive America’s ailing economy with a huge job creation drive, vowing to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months and one million new small businesses. Mr Trump also promises to build on the tax cuts he introduced in his first term, including tax cuts and credits to entice companies to keep jobs in the US rather than overseas. Mr Trump said he will “enact fair trade deals that protect American jobs”, but makes little mention of how he sees his trade war with China progressing.

Eradicate Covid-19

Mr Trump has staked a lot on the hope of finding an effective vaccine for coronavirus in the coming months. The Trump administration has launched “Operation Warp Speed” to encourage the development and distribution of a successful vaccine. In his campaign agenda, Mr Trump has promised to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year and has made clear he will pursue an America-first approach to any successful vaccine developed in the US or overseas. Under the heading “eradicate covid-19”, the campaign also lists a promise to “return to normal in 2021”, as well as pledges to refill stock piles, ensure critical workers have the resources necessary and prepare for future pandemics. 

Law and order

Mr Trump has promised to “defend” America’s police forces in the wake of growing protests against instances of police brutality towards African Americans. Mr Trump has leaned heavily on a law and order message, using fear-based rhetoric to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and other protests sweeping through US cities, and warning that America’s suburbs are under threat. His campaign promises to protect police funding and hire more officers, increase punishments for attacks on police, and take action against political protest movements like the anti-facist group Antifa. The law and order promises also includes tough action on illegal immigration and stronger requirements for legal immigrants.

Read more: Donald Trump’s approval ratings

Mike Pence

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