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CBC's U.S. election panel: What to watch for on voting day

CBC's The National assembled a panel of U.S. political commentators, hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, to examine issues likely to influence the vote.

The National's U.S. election panel examines issues likely to influence the vote

Americans go to the polls Nov. 3 to decide whether President Donald Trump, right, will get a second term, or if Joe Biden will move to the White House. (Carlos Barria, Leah Millis/Reuters)

On the eve of what some are calling the most consequential U.S. election in history, CBC's The National convened its U.S. political panel to break down what to look for on election day.

Already, an estimated 96 million Americans have cast early ballots, indicating voters are highly motivated in an election where concerns over voter suppression and intimidation have been widespread.

While polls are indicating a lead for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, no one is taking anything for granted. The panelists recall how far off the mark the polls were in 2016, and are hesitant about making predictions this time around. But they examined the impact of the issues that matter most to voters — health care, taxes, immigration, and the COVID-19 pandemic that has stolen the spotlight from all other ballot box questions and claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people in the U.S. so far.

  • Daniel McCarthy is editor of Modern Age: A Conservative Review, editor-at-large of The American Conservative, a columnist for The Spectator, and says he will be voting for Trump on Nov. 3. During the panel discussion, he said he believes the race is tighter than the polls are suggesting and that Republican enthusiasm is at an all-time high. He said he thinks Donald Trump's rigorous campaigning and the huge crowds his rallies have attracted are good signs that he'll win a second term as president.
  • Danielle Moodie is the host of the political podcast Woke AF Daily and co-host of the podcast Democracy-ish, and is hoping for a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris win. Moodie said she is worried by the prospect of another Donald Trump win, but also at the idea of a Trump loss and the very real possibility that the president will refuse to concede. Moodie believes Joe Biden ran a strong campaign and didn't take anything for granted. She said his visits to all key states are a sign the Democrats were fighting hard for the win and learning from the mistakes of 2016, where a win in certain states was taken for granted.
  • Yascha Mounk is the founder and editor-in-chief of Persuasion, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, and contributing editor at The Atlantic. A centrist, Mounk is hoping for a Biden win. Mounk said Donald Trump has already done significant damage to democratic institutions in the U.S., and he is hoping the high voter turnout means Americans are casting ballots in large numbers to prevent another Trump term. Mounk added that he'll be watching the results in Pennsylvania and Florida most closely on Tuesday.

WATCH | The National's panel of U.S. political experts, hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, discuss what to watch for on election day:

What’s at stake in the U.S. election | U.S. Politics Panel

The National

1 month agoVideo
7:50
The National’s panel of political experts break down what could happen on election night in the U.S. and what’s at stake. 7:50

More from The National's U.S. election panel:

Final presidential debate

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden went face-to-face in the second and final debate of the U.S. presidential election campaign on Oct. 22. While contentious at times, it proved to be a lot less chaotic than the first debate.

NBC's Kristen Welker moderated the event in Nashville, Tenn., where the candidates stood more than 12 feet apart from each other, and a mute button was included for the first time in presidential debate history. The COVID-19 pandemic dominated much of the conversation, but the candidates were also asked about electoral interference, race relations in the U.S., national security, leadership and climate change.

WATCH | The National's panel of U.S. political experts evaluate the final presidential debate:

Does the final U.S. presidential debate matter? | U.S. Politics Panel

The National

1 month agoVideo
10:08
A panel of U.S. political experts breaks down the biggest moments of the final face-to-face showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and where this leaves both campaigns. 10:08

Duelling town halls

Trump and Biden were supposed to face off in a second presidential debate on Oct. 15 in Miami. Instead, the two candidates attended duelling town hall events hosted by two different networks.

Despite concerns about his health, Trump returned to the campaign trail 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. The president is once again holding packed nightly rallies in an effort to mobilize his base. But is it enough to make up for lost time? And given the debacle of the first presidential debate, will a town hall rather than another face-to-face showdown with Trump work for or against Biden's campaign?

WATCH | The National's panel of U.S. political experts discusses the cancelled debate:

What cancelling a presidential debate means for the race and voters | U.S. Politics Panel

The National

2 months agoVideo
7:52
With less than three weeks to go until election day, The National's U.S. political panel looks at what cancelling the second presidential debate means for the race, whether President Donald Trump getting COVID-19 changed anything and what voter groups both candidates are trying to reach. 7:52

Vice-presidential debate dissected

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris went toe-to-toe Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the sole vice-presidential debate of the 2020 U.S. election. All eyes were on the pair after the chaotic performance of President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden in their first presidential debate on Sept. 29. USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page moderated a much more measured debate, although at times the candidates did not directly address her questions. Pence and Harris debated topics ranging from the handling of the pandemic and relations with China, to racial justice and policies around job creation and climate change.

WATCH | The National's panel of U.S. political experts analyzes the vice-presidential debate:

The impact of the Pence-Harris debate | U.S. Politics Panel

The National

2 months agoVideo
9:56
A panel of U.S. politics experts breaks down what happened during the vice-presidential debate between Vice-President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris and the impact it could have on November’s election. 9:56

First presidential debate

Trump and Biden squared off Sept. 29 in their first election debate from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. The 90-minute exchange, punctuated by a regular stream of outbursts and interruptions, covered topics ranging from the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to law enforcement and climate change, to the political records of both candidates. The debate also touched on more recent events, including the Supreme Court nomination to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the leak of Trump's tax information.

WATCH | The National's panel of U.S. political experts analyzes the first presidential debate:

Impact of the first Trump-Biden debate | U.S. Politics Panel

The National

2 months agoVideo
10:16
A panel of U.S. politics experts breaks down what happened during the first presidential debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden and the impact it could have on November’s election. 10:16

With files from Arielle Piat-Sauvé, Perlita Stroh

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