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Did Covid Determine Trump’s Fate – In part but not Entirely!

As the results of the US election start to sink in, to an audible collective sigh of relief around the world, I would like to comment on some feedback I received to my recent NZ Herald article “Covid-19 could determine US Election”:

In the article, referred to Shawn Tulley’s Article in Fortune, 24 October 2020, titled “Trump’s odds of winning rise or fall based on one overriding force”, see:

The article includes the following charts. They paint a compelling picture in my view:

Having now looked at the results from exit polls in the election, I realise I was only partly right. The exit results show that regardless of what the data might show, Trump supporters saw the economy as the most important issue, even though numbers of new infections were spiraling out of control in many Republican run states; whereas Biden voters believed containing Covid was paramount.

The scary thing to my mind is that regardless of the death toll in the US the two groups voted largely along party political lines. A few days ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was interviewed on CNN. She described this as two alternative universes, saying that the American people have to move in a different direction. She did however take great heart from the historically high levels of voter turnout. She also felt positive about increased participation in the democratic process which, she felt, augured well for the future.

One bit of feedback I received on my recent article was on LinkedIn. I was told they thought I was “100% wrong” in my conclusion about Covid and Trump losing.

While Trump maintains his self-deluded mantra that he not only won the election but did so “by a lot”, I suppose he would be one of those who said I was and remain 100% wrong. The sad reality is that the man he described at virtually every rally as “the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics” roundly beat him. Logically, that must make Trump the worst president in the history of presidential politics, and to boot the first incumbent president in over a quarter of a century to lose in this way.


Clive Elliott-Barrister

I live and work in Auckland, New Zealand. I am a frequent writer and commentator on intellectual property and information technology issues. I am a barrister, patent attorney, and arbitrator. Before going to the Bar in 2000, I was a partner and headed the litigation team at Baldwin Shelston Waters/Baldwins. I took silk in 2013. Feel free to contact me via phone, email or social media.