The mercury froze during U.S. President Donald Trump’s election rally in Omaha, Nebraska this week – but even the brutal temperature couldn’t keep die-hard fans away.
Despite the harsh conditions, tens of thousands of enthusiastic supporters flocked to the criminal event and were grateful for it – as in the entire election campaign.
In the meantime, it was a completely different story at Biden.
While Mr Trump’s rallies drew a barrage of red Make America Great Aagain hats with long lines of energetic fans eager to catch a glimpse of their political hero, those of Mr Biden were rather muted affairs.
Not only were they smaller in terms of crowd, but they also couldn’t keep up with the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the presidents – and this is a trend that started long before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
Back in May 2019, the left-wing political website Politico reported that Mr Biden’s opening rally had “petered out alongside some of his rivals” and that he had failed to attract the crowd of former Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in Iowa, despite his much higher profile as ex-vice president of the nation.
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Politico reported that in the early stages of his campaign, the 77-year-old hosted events in “smaller venues where the risk of vacancies is low,” noting “the apparent lack of excitement or crowds at his events,” indicating ” lack of passion for his candidacy ”.
In June, an Economist / YouGov poll found that more than twice as many Trump supporters were enthusiastic about their candidate as their Democratic counterparts. Just three months ago, a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also revealed Democratic hopes Supporters were less enthusiastic than Republicans when it came to the broader campaign and Mr Biden himself.
The study found that only 31 percent of Biden supporters were “excited” compared with 42 percent of Trump supporters, while those on Team Biden also experienced more negative emotions such as fear and frustration.
And in September, another poll by the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics found that 56 percent of Americans likely to support Trump were “very excited” to vote for him, compared to just 35 percent of Biden supporters while they were Facebook was Bath University graduate student Tristan Hotham’s analysis found that Joe Biden “outperformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance” while Trump “surpassed his 2016 performance”.
So significant is the phenomenon that it has even been nicknamed – the “enthusiasm gap” – and some believe it could mean Mr Trump has it up his sleeve.
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However, others – including Griffith University political scientist Professor John Kane – believe the widespread anti-Trump sentiment is a much stronger factor than the lukewarm feelings many feel about Mr Biden.
Prof. Kane told news.com.au that the enthusiasm gap was “absolute” – but less important than many might think.
“There’s buzz on the Democratic / Liberal side, but it’s not so much buzz for Biden as anti-Trump – that’s what gets this massive pre-election vote that was unprecedented,” he said.
“Trump has cultic supporters, but that can be very misleading … it looks good on TV, (but) if you use it as a guide to the way the elections go, it would be wiser to look at which way the polls are going Trend. ”
While Prof. Kane said that Mr. Trump could do “another miracle” in the end, on November 3rd it was “hard to see lightning strike twice”.
“There are a lot of anti-Trump sentiments and so many people are motivated to just get rid of this guy,” he said.
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