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STEVE FLOWERS: It's Trump vs. Biden in November

STEVE FLOWERS: It's Trump vs. Biden in November

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The presidential race is onward. It will be incumbent Republican Donald Trump vs. former Vice President Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 general election.

Both men have clinched their parties’ nomination. Therefore, the Democratic convention, July 31-Aug. 2, and the Republican convention set for Aug. 25-28, will be anticlimactic. It is doubtful that either convention will break any television rating records.

Both in their 70s

However, there will be one record shattered in this year’s presidential contest. Trump and Biden will be the two oldest presidential contenders in history.

Biden is 78 and Trump is 74. Actually, Trump was the oldest person to ever be sworn in as president four years ago. So if Biden wins he will break the record at 78.6 years.

By the way, the youngest president was John F. Kennedy, who was 43 when he was sworn in as president in January 1961.

This has already been one of the most unusual presidential election years in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, especially the American economy. The economy is the pivotal issue that decides presidential elections.

Prior to the pandemic, the economy was Trump’s trump card. The economic collapse caused by the pandemic was not Trump’s fault, but it happened on his watch. There is an old political maxim that says, “If you claim credit for the rain, then you gotta take blame for the drought.”

Trump was not in the lead prior to the pandemic disaster. He is certainly behind the eight ball today. The country is divided like never before in our history. You either live in a red Republican state like Alabama or a blue Democratic state like California. Under the electoral college system of selecting our president, the election is won or lost in the swing states like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Current polling has Biden ahead in all of these pivotal states. He has double digit leads in Michigan and his birth home of Pennsylvania. It looks like Joe Biden is favored to be the next president at almost 80 years old. Therefore, it is extremely important who he chooses as his running mate to be vice president.

Biden's running mate

Biden has unequivocally stated that his vice president will be a female. His choice probably will boil down to California Sen. Kamala Harris. Originally, it was between Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Harris.

Klobuchar would have been an excellent choice. She was well qualified and thoroughly vetted. She is Minnesota’s senior senator having represented her native state since 2006. She is very popular in her home state and would probably have brought the swing state of Minnesota into the Democratic column.

However, she withdrew her name for consideration after it became apparent that the Democratic Party base demanded Biden choose a female candidate of color.

Harris, 55, has had a stellar career. She is well qualified to be president. She ran an excellent campaign for the Democratic nomination earlier this year and is a U.S. Senator from the largest state in the Union.

She was attorney general of California prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate from the Golden State. She is Black, her mother was an Indian/American/Canadian cancer researcher, her father was a Jamaican-born businessman.

Odds are that if Joe Biden is elected president in November, he will probably be a one-term president. At almost 80, it is doubtful that he would run again in 2024. Therefore, his choice for his running mate and vice president would be favored to be elected president in four years and could become president before then.

There is a tried and true maxim in politics: More people vote against someone than for someone. The Democrats’ plan of attack is for Biden to do nothing, say nothing and let Trump beat himself.

It will be an interesting and important choice for Biden as he or his advisors select his vice presidential running mate.

Turnout is the key

Therefore, do not count Donald Trump out until it is all over. Republican voters who are older turn out to vote at a higher rate than Democratic voters who are younger.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Trump will carry Alabama over Biden in November.

Steve Flowers is a political columnist who served 16 years in the Alabama Legislature.

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