Third US presidential debate to be held

President Donald Trump and former US vice president Joe Biden will face off in their second and final debate tonight

3rd debate

Photo: Jim Watson/ AFP/ Getty

President Donald Trump and former US vice president Joe Biden will face off in their second and final debate tonight in Nashville, Tennessee before the 2020 presidential election.

Most polls indicate that Trump trails Biden by around 10% nationally. A key driver of this gap is the discontent many voters have expressed with the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 230,000 deaths expected by the November 3 election and an economy still in recession. In addition, polling has shown that the US Senate’s prioritisation of the nomination of a Supreme Court justice over further economic aid has increased Republicans’ general disapproval, and could cost the party control of the legislature and the presidency.

Tonight’s debate will likely follow the first in tone and substance and will likely fail to sway voters from one candidate to the other. With 30 million Americans having already voted, Trump will use the opportunity to sow doubt about the legitimacy of postal voting and the election results were Biden to win. If Trump were to not accept defeat, it would erode Washington’s global image, in turn affording Beijing and Moscow more power to promote the legitimacy of their own authoritarian governance models worldwide.

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