THE EDGE SINGAPORE - The great lesson of the US presidential elections in 2016 is to never say never. Contrary to the prediction of most pollsters, Republican outsider Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton despite losing the popular vote. What has resulted since then has been nearly four years of twists and turns for businesses, as the Trump administration pursued a policy of protectionism and unilateralism. Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and not just picked fights on trade, technology and politics against China, but also initiated trade disputes against US allies. 

But at the impending conclusion of these four years, it seems highly likely that the age of “fire and fury” may be drawing to a close. Former Vice President Joe Biden, officially designated the Democratic nominee on Aug 18 for the upcoming elections, is currently maintaining a 10-point opinion poll lead over the former reality television star. The New York Times reports Biden leading in the key battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, traditionally “Blue” states that delivered the presidency to Trump in the electoral college in 2016. 

While Clinton had struggled to pull away from Trump in 2016, Biden’s commanding lead has seen pollsters hinting at the possibility of a Biden victory. “Right now, our model thinks Joe Biden is very likely to beat Donald Trump in the electoral college,” says The Economist, which sees an 88% chance of the Biden ticket prevailing with a likely 350 electoral college votes. Professor Allan Lichtman of American University, who has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984, has now come out in favour of a Biden victory come November. 

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