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U.S. Presidential Election 14 days away: Observation Points Updated: 2020-10-20 15:47:07 KST

The U.S. presidential election is now down to two weeks away.
On November 3rd, voters in America will decide whether Donald Trump remains in the White House for another four years.
The Republican president is being challenged by Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden, who is best known as Barack Obama's vice-president but has been in U.S. politics since the 1970s.

Early voting began on Monday in Florida, a battleground state that could decide the election, while a record 28 million Americans already have cast ballots nationwide with barely two weeks remaining in the U.S. campaign.

"I've had people straight up threaten to take business from my company, who threaten to do all sorts of things if you don't vote their way. And it only comes from one side of the aisle it doesn't come from the other side and it's unfortunate, but it motivates me to vote. I think people should vote for the party they believe is more about personal freedoms than about more laws and rules and stuff like that."

"This is a lifetime election, this is a very important election because it's time to end the divisiveness, the corruption, the hate and with respect to the actual policies of this administration I think that they've been quite harmful."

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump and his White House challenger Joe Biden are feuding over plans for their final TV debate set for this Thursday.

American votes 2020: Let's talk about it.

Live in the studio with me is Mason Richey, Associate Professor of Political Science at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

Mason, welcome to the show.

This year's election is shaping up to be one for the history books. Between anticipated mail-in ballot records, early voting surges and a slew of novel coronavirus-related safety precautions, the global pandemic has shaped almost every facet of voting.
But, first of all, would you briefly explain how the U.S. presidential election works for those of our viewers not too familiar with this unique system? How is the winner decided?

Who can vote and how do they do it?

Even before the pandemic 2020 had the potential to set voting turnout record. In 2018, U.S. had the highest midtern turnout rate since 1914. Higher voter turnout: for whom will this work in favor? Trump or Biden?

Who's ahead in national polls, Biden or Trump?

As Hillary Clinton discovered in 2016, the number of votes you win is less important than where you win them. Most states nearly always vote the same way, meaning that in reality there are just a handful of states where both candidates stand a chance of winning. These battleground states will decide the election outcome. Which states will decide this election?

Will Donald Trump's testing positive for the coronavirus impact voters' sentiment?
His Covid contraction has definitely brought back his response to the pandemic under the spotlight.
But, when you look at the UK, on the other hand, the first world leader to test positive for Covid-19, Boris Johnson, saw a remarkable increase in his personal approval rating during his illness.
YouGov polling just after he left hospital saw his net approval as Prime Minister go from 4 percent to 40 percent, as the British public sympathised with his plight.
Is there a chance that Donald Trump can anticipate similar impact?

And there is the question of how reliable these poll numbers are.
It's easy to dismiss the polls by saying they got it wrong in 2016 and President Trump frequently does exactly that. What do you say?

On a general election night, Americans are accustomed to knowing who's won the presidency and other races relatively quickly through projections made by news organizations.
But with record absentee ballots anticipated, there is a concern that some states, especially battlegrounds, could be overwhelmed with counting ballots on Election Day.
When can we expect results this year? Why could postal voting delay the U.S. election result?

Will Trump and Biden accept the result? What happens if the election result is not accepted?

Now this Thursday is the final debate. What should we be on the look out for? What are key observation points?

Mason Richey, Associate Professor of Political Science at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, many thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.

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