Donald Trump, Kamala Harris and COVID-19: Michigan a few days away from the presidential elections

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Elvis Nouemsi Njiké (access the author's page)

The United States is just days away from a poll in which Michigan is expected to play a major role. In 2016, the state was won by Donald Trump when he had leaned for Barack Obama the previous two times.

Democrats want to prevent the 2016 scenario from happening again. Democrats were traumatized by previous election results, explains Mamba Hamissi, a resident of Detroit.

There are also a lot of people who aren't going to vote because they say there are a lot of things Democrats haven't done for black people when they should be.

Mamba Hamissi, resident of Detroit

Mr. Hamissi is of Burundian origin. He has lived in Detroit for five years now, but cannot yet vote, which he regrets. He noted around him, within the black electorate, a certain hesitation. He says many people are divided on the question of voting, and its usefulness.

I have friends who wonder if it really matters to vote, he says.

Fear of failed probing syndrome

This hesitation arises from the fact that part of the black electorate is not very optimistic about the capacity of the Democrats to act. According to Mamba Hamissi, these voters are disillusioned and continue to blame the Obama administration for not making significant changes in their lives.

For Mamba Hamissi, Democrats are afraid that the polls will be wrong again this year.

Mamba Hamissi

Photo: Mamba Hamissi

Mr. Hamissi points out that Democratic awareness campaigns seek to counter this skepticism by trying to convince as many people as possible to vote. For him, this technique can work, because he believes that some people will decide to vote not for Joe Biden, but against Donald Trump.

I have friends who think if they don't vote the Republicans will still be in power, and that's not going to make it easy for us. These people think they have no choice, that they should vote, he adds.

For some voters, Donald Trump is a divisive character. In a city like Detroit, where a strong African-American community resides, some people are motivated by recent events and by the controversial positions taken by the American president.

There are people who say they have to vote this year because of the racist crises we have had recently, specifies Mamba Hamissi.

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These people also fear a kind of syndrome 2016, when the polls, which now predict a victory for the Democrats, did not see the victory of Donald Trump coming.

<q data-attributes = '{"lang": {"value": "fr", "label": "Français"}, "value": {"html": "There is still some confusion.2016 was the same. There are people who said that the Democrats will pass. This year, the polls show us that the Democrats will pass, but we wait "," text ":" There is still confusion. In 2016 it was the same. There are people who said that the Democrats will pass. This year, the polls show us that the Democrats will pass, but we are waiting "}} 'lang =" fr”>There is still some confusion. In 2016 it was the same. There are people who said that the Democrats will pass. This year, the polls show us that the Democrats will pass, but we wait, he adds.

Postal voting: the big star of the elections

Mamba Hamissi also claims that many voters in Detroit have opted for postal and advance voting.

In Michigan, postal voting is not just for the people of Detroit. Steven Kurtz is pursuing his doctoral studies and teaching at the University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, a town 45 minutes west of Detroit.

He grew up in Minnesota, but now resides in Michigan. He therefore voted by correspondence. I sent my newsletter a few weeks ago. Immediately after receiving it, I filled it out and sent it back, he says.

Steven Kurtz believes the state has made it possible for all Michigan voters to vote by mail. He is not very afraid of abstentions, even though he admits to living in a highly politicized student town whose voters vote heavily Democratic.

All my students have already voted, or have their plans to vote next week, he adds.

Reasons to vote against Trump

According to Steven Kurtz, the residents of Ann Arbor are all the more mobilized as the US president has given them reasons to vote against him in recent months. With all the events of this summer (the racial tensions), there was a very strong mobilization across the country. I wouldn't be surprised if it plays out for these elections, he explains.

With the appointment of Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, we fear for our rights.

Steven Kurtz, resident of Ann Arbor
Selfie of Steven Kurtz

Steven Kurtz, who is pursuing doctoral studies and teaching at the University of Michigan, fears for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Photo: Steven Kurtz

If the race question is a vector of mobilization for the American left, questions such as the right to abortion or the rights of the LGBTQ community are just as much, according to Mr. Kurtz.

Thus, President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is a signal to Democrats to vote.

She (Amy Coney Barrett) has a story that suggests she is against homosexuality. So, from that point of view, we really encourage people to vote since we see the consequences in the Supreme Court, says Steven Kurtz.

Steven Kurtz is not, however, under any illusions. He considers that the LGBTQ community is probably not a reserve of votes for Republicans because they are already naturally inclined to vote for their rights.

I feel like for the LGBTQ community that I am a part of, that hasn't changed much. I have the impression that these communities are still mobilized for the elections, he adds

Tensions approaching in the home stretch

The search for this reservoir of voice by both camps can sometimes cause tension. That’s what Roxan Tardif, a Canadian who has lived in Michigan for the past 20 years, found out. He can't vote because he's not a US citizen.

He notes, however, a deterioration of the political atmosphere, especially when it comes to young people.

In some bands, if you don't have the same opinion as I do, your opinion doesn't matter. They start to call people by names. I see this especially in the younger generation, he adds.

Paradoxically, despite the harshness of the discussions, Mr. Tardif notes the proliferation of conversations around politics, which was rarely the case in previous elections.

Usually we don't have several conversations about politics. People keep it to themselves. But here, most people share things, whether it's a small piece of information in passing, or several articles or videos., he explains.

For Roxan Tardif, pro-Trump groups are particularly vocal. They are visible at major intersections and not far from shopping centers with signs, and have been since spring.

The issue of COVID-19 is often at the center of discussions among these people, especially among Republican voters with whom Roxan Tardif meets.

Most of these people don't believe in calling off events and preventing people from moving. To them, that doesn't make a lot of sense. They say there is not a lot of science behind it, he adds.

Kamala Harris as a Trojan Horse

While the restrictions caused by the pandemic are a problem for Republican voters, the beliefs of Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's running mate, seem even more worrying for Republican voters.

They think it won't take long before he is declared incapable of being president and the vice president becomes head of state.

Roxan Tardif, Michigan resident

Mr. Tardif believes Republican voters are suspicious of Joe Biden's ideas, but even more of those of Kamala Harris, whom they deem far too leftist.

The appointment of Joe Biden was therefore, according to them, a ploy to bring the far left to power.

Considering Biden's health and all the stress a presidency can bring, the belief is that Biden has been nominated to bring the vice president to the head of the country, he explains.

In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan narrowly with 47.3% of the vote, against 47% for Hillary Clinton.


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