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FOUR CORNERS examines whether Donald Trump can defy the polls and secure a second term

The end for Trump?  The 2020 US presidential election

“Together, we will make America great again. Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.”   

President Donald Trump

Donald Trump was elected to office in 2016 on the promise that he would “Make America Great Again”.  Four years on, he’s presiding over a nation that is bitterly divided with a troubled economy and a population ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“America faces a decisive choice… everything is at stake for the future of the country.” 

Former Democratic Congressional staffer

With just over a week to go before polling day, Four Corners examines whether Donald Trump can once again defy the polls and his critics and secure a second presidential term.

“Donald Trump is very good, in fact almost historically great, at revving up the base, but … he has been (unable) to grow it over the course of his presidency.”  

Pollster

The campaign has been a fierce political dogfight with President Trump taking his characteristic aggressive and confrontational approach.

“Donald Trump is someone who knows no boundaries, who is willing to do and say anything… there are norms of behaviour and there are limits to what one would do, [that’s] all off the table when it comes to dealing with Donald Trump.” 

Former Obama staffer

Opinion polls are giving Democrat contender Joe Biden a decisive lead, and despite Donald Trump’s insistence that victory is assured, even some of his most prominent supporters concede he has a battle on his hands.

“I think he’s got a decent chance, but I would be being dishonest if I didn’t tell you I was a little nervous.”  

Leading Republican

Four Corners looks at the key states and voting blocs that will be crucial to the election outcome.  

Florida is one of them. In the last 100 years, no presidential Republican candidate has won without it. The President will be relying on the state’s older voters to line up for him again, but Trump’s handling of the pandemic has damaged his standing with this key demographic.

“This is a community of primarily over 55. I think the average age is 72. The Villages is the prime target for, for Covid to do some real damage.”  

Democratic supporter, Florida 

Four Corners also visits the so-called ‘rust belt’ battle ground states like Pennsylvania, where Trump’s opponent Joe Biden grew up, to see if the Democrats have won back the working class vote that turned out for Trump in 2016.

“I feel President Trump can help the economy because he’s a businessman, he’s run businesses. He knows to run the country as a business. I feel Biden is more a feelings president than an economics president.” 

Republican businesswoman, Pennsylvania

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the President has sought to turn this into a law and order election.

Many say these tactics are creating hatred and division.  

“You’ve got people who are more open now. Businesses that we have spent money at who are literally posting racial stuff against black people and it’s just, ridiculous. A part of me is happy about it though, because now we see you for who you really are. As we say ‘the sheets are off the heads’ at that point.”  

Black Lives Matter activist, Kenosha, Wisconsin

For some Republicans, this election campaign has seen an uprising against the President. Committed Republican activists who believe Donald Trump has highjacked their party are now working to seize it back.

“A lot of us have spent decades, if not our entire careers, in Republican politics. I left the GOP in 2016, after Donald Trump won the nomination. But from our perspective he was never a conservative, he’s certainly not a Republican and now he’s an existential threat to the country.”  

Anti-Trump Republican activist

As the campaign enters its final days, the President’s most committed supporters are fervently hoping this is not the end for Donald Trump.

“He loves God, he loves his country, and he loves us and he fights for us. And he fights for liberty and he supports the US constitution which so many people, like myself, have fought for…Donald John Trump understands that. He gets that and he fights for us.” 

Trump supporter

It is replayed on Tuesday 27th October at 10.00am and Wednesday 28th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

Four Corners – Monday 26 October 2020 at 8:30pm on ABC and iview

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