Image courtesy of BBC.

By: Alyssa Walrad

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump continue to battle in the most pivotal election in modern history.

Trump, pursuing a more personal approach to courting undecided voters, recently attended a town hall meeting in which voters were able to ask him all of the uncomfortable questions he has continually disregarded outside of his political world. This town hall provided Americans with a rare opportunity to participate in an intimate one-on-one Q&A with the president.

It was there on Sept. 17, after another 1,000 Americans had passed away from COVID-19, that Trump redacted his own statement (to political journalist Bob Woodward) that he was in fact aware of the severity of the virus since sometime in February, and had downplayed it to prevent the public from erupting into a fit of panic.

In a separate statement, Trump claimed he had done a “tremendous job” of enacting measures to protect Americans, and assured the nation that he had not downplayed it but had “in many ways, up-played it, in terms of action.” Trump’s flip-flop attitude on coronavirus, as well as other policies, continues to loom over American voters’ heads.

Former Vice President Joe Biden now has a significant 16 point lead over his opponent among registered voters, according to a poll conducted jointly in Minnesota and Wisconsin by The Washington Post and ABC News. The report follows Trump’s failed attempts to turn Minnesota into a red state after he lost it during the 2016 election. Moreover, states like Pennsylvania and Arizona – which Trump almost won four years ago – have pinned Biden in a 5-8 point lead over the president.

Biden attended a town hall on Sept. 17 in Pennsylvania that was hosted by CNN. Continuing with the “unity” theme that has characterized his entire political career, Biden claimed he will not be a democratic president, but that he will be “America’s president” if elected. His rebuttals throughout the town hall condemned Trump’s handling of various situations during his term, such as his policies for maintaining law and order following the protests against police brutality toward minorities, as well as the administration’s handling of the virus and subsequent shutdown.

Now, a major event that affects more than just the federal administration may sway voting on Nov. 3: the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A pioneer in passing legislation for women and minority rights, and advocate of equality among all Americans, her position as an associate justice brought comfort to millions of Americans during her tenure, as her vote went towards equal protection of everyone under the Fourteenth Amendment. In the wake of her passing, the vacancy has prompted Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as a candidate to replace the icon ahead of the election. However, democrats have argued that his move was hypocritical and wish to expand the size of the U.S. Senate in the hopes of increasing its diversity.

Inevitably, the likelihood of Barrett being voted in – if Trump demands – will induce massive pressure on the American voters come Nov. 3.