How Russians are viewing the 2020 U.S. presidential election
Who will become the owner of the White House is still unclear
In Moscow, as in all other capitals of the world, they closely and interestedly follow the course of the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.
In the expert circles of Russia, in particular, they note that Trump initially went in the election race better than expected. They are in no hurry to make predictions about the final outcome of the campaign and believe that after the elections, the vector of Russian-American relations will not change in any alignment of forces, taking into account the consensus formed on a bipartisan basis in the Senate..
Observers also highlight the unprecedented voter turnout in the current elections. As of Wednesday, the turnout was a record over the past 120 years, 150 million (66.9%).
US elections and the “Zhirinovsky phenomenon”
Political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin, in a conversation with the correspondent of the Russian service of “Voice of America”, suggested that a factor, which in Russia is called the “Zhirinovsky phenomenon”, was triggered in the United States..
According to him, this phenomenon lies in the fact that, in accordance with the preliminary polls conducted on the eve of the elections, the LDPR leader usually received fewer votes than later in reality..
“This is due to the fact that a fairly significant part of Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s voters, like Trump’s voters, are embarrassed to say openly that they support such a scandalous and outrageous politician, and when they find themselves alone in front of the ballot paper, after all give him preference, – he explained. “Trump, by the way, is somewhat close to Zhirinovsky in his psychotype, as it seems to me”.
Apparently, about the same story happened in the United States, the political scientist admitted. It seems to him that everyone was misled by the hidden supporters of Trump, who at the right time demonstrated a sufficiently high mobilization. “And this is the undoubted merit of Trump,” the expert added. “Because he held a large number of campaign rallies in key states two days before the in-person voting, where he made emotional, albeit rather incoherent speeches, which, nevertheless, proved to be convincing for people of a certain warehouse.”.
The fate of the elections remains in limbo, since it is not known how the postal vote will end, summed up Dmitry Oreshkin.
Sociology of American elections and new nuances
In turn, the director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, Boris Kagarlitsky, in a commentary to the Voice of America, noted that the American presidential campaign is indeed extremely competitive and with approximately comparable reserves and resources of the main candidates, which is simply unthinkable in Russia. In addition, in his assessment, the US political system itself is radically different from the way political institutions work in Russia..
“I’m not even talking about the level of democracy,” he said. – It is clear that there is much more freedom in America. It’s just about structural features. For example, the Americans do not have a single Central Election Commission, there a very large part of the work is done in the states. At the same time, there is a system of electors, which significantly changes the entire logic of political struggle. In fact, each individual state has its own intrigue, and the outcome of the vote is largely decided not by the bulk of citizens, but by the decision of voters in several fluctuating states. “.
Therefore, we are now, as in a good detective story, watching how events unfold, how the votes are counted and so on, stressed Boris Kagarlitsky. At the same time, according to his observations, the sociology of the American elections revealed very interesting new nuances and, to a certain extent, actually refuted a number of stereotypes..
“Now that the voter data has already been made public, we can state that the only category of voters in which Biden really made progress in comparison with the previous Democratic campaign, oddly enough, was“ white men, ”he says. – Among African Americans, Latinos, and women, we see that Trump’s current results are better than they were in 2016. But the Democrats just relied on national minorities and stressed in every possible way that they are categorically against the privileges of white men. “.
However, so far, according to the preliminary election results, it turns out that all their propaganda backfired, the political scientist summed up.