New York: He’s a registered Republican, he voted for Donald Trump in 2016, he flipped to Joe Biden in 2020, he’s one of America’s 101 million early voters and says Trump’s Covid-19 response didn’t make any difference to his vote. There, that’s everything.
Okay, let’s dig in. This is one of many voices we’ve been hearing on the street as the US election grinds to a slow and tense finish. Conversations like these capture some of the zeitgeist that might fall between the cracks in poll forecasting.
“No, don’t use my name, but we can talk,” says this man dressed in a thick, red flannel shirt and jeans and enjoying the feeble warmth of the afternoon sun. When IANS approached him in a Union County suburb in New Jersey, he was shining his car to a sparkle – “a ritual”.
He wants to explain that: “I drive a concrete mixer and don’t like the idea of cement dust settling on my Chevy!”
He seems happy to chat about his 2020 vote. Why did he flip? “I voted for him (Trump) in 2016 because he wasn’t a politician. I thought why not, let’s give this guy a shot.” Really? That simple? “Actually, I didn’t like Hillary!” he said, grimacing a little.
Why Biden in 2020? “Trump’s behaviour sucks. By 2018, I was done with this man. He can’t go on like this.”
Was this a 2020 version of his anti-Hillary vote? “No, Biden’s okay. He’s likeable, he’s decent, I can go with him.”
What about Trump’s Covid-19 response? “Nah, makes no difference”, he said, and did not elaborate. Three words to brush aside what the Democrats told voters was the core of their case against Trump.
How does he feel about delayed results? “Oh, he’ll take it to the Supreme Court,” he shrugs, referring to Trump.
“Look, Trump might do another four years. If that happens, America as we knew it is finished.”
Does that matter intimately? “Personally, my life won’t change. There’s plenty of work, Trump’s good for the economy.”
As an afterthought, he adds: “But, it’ll get ugly out there.”
A quick note on the numbers at around noon on November 4: Biden 238, Trump 213 in the quest for 270 electoral votes. This is based on the races called by The Associated Press.