Determining who is going to win a presidential election can be incredibly difficult. In the wake of the 2016 election, many have deemed polls unreliable, and do not think there’s a way to predict an outcome. However, this is not entirely true. Using the stocks and economy are just about as good as a crystal ball. But that might not be the case this election year.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken an astounding toll on society. Not only from a public health and human life perspective, but also from an economic one. It has precipitated the sharpest downturn since the great depression, nearly a century ago.
Normally an economic downturn of such a great magnitude would give the challenger, in this case Joe Biden, an advantage over the incumbent, Donald Trump. Though this does not quite seem to be the case.
While Biden is in fact leading in the polls, he does not have the clear advantage from economics that a challenger usually has. This is largely due to the stock market’s success amidst otherwise unfavorable circumstances.
In fact, the stock market is doing exceptionally well given the circumstance. According to USA today, “the S&P 500 has staged a stunning rebound to record highs in August, even as the economy remains in a recession. While many have seen their retirement, balances recover with the market turnaround, the nation has recouped slightly less than half the unprecedented 22 million jobs wiped out in early spring.”
Experts contend that the success of the stock market is in fact indicative of Trump’s strength. Some believe that If the stock market trends continue to increase, then Trump is favored to win.
“The recent strength that we’ve seen in stocks signals that Wall Street is siding more with Trump winning re-election,” says Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial, an independent broker-dealer.
Stock market trends tend to favor the more conservatively leaning candidate as conservatives tend to prioritize economics and business success over industries that work to help the general public. As such, in good economic times, republicans often win the candidacy.
But 2020 is an exceptionally different year. The 2020 election is set to be one of the closest races in American history, and there are far more facets to this election than any previous one. The president must be able to handle the virus while simultaneously improving the economy, a truly difficult challenge. As of now there are too many conflicting ends to definitively discern who will win.
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