US election 2020: Donald Trump has his work cut out as he prepares for his big convention speech | US News


Tonight, Donald Trump takes to the stage to formally accept the Republican presidential nomination. 

The president‘s speech at the Republican National Convention is a chance for him to convey his vision for America and what he might do with four more years in office.

It comes as the country wrestles with a deadly hurricane, deadly racial division and a deadly virus.

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Melania Trump spoke from the White House’s Rose Garden, in a break from convention

He has got his work cut out.

His base has remained doggedly loyal, unflinching in their devotion and respect for what he has done.

But, he needs to stop others drifting and try to win over new voters.

This is also a great chance to correct any wrongs – if you want to acknowledge any in the first place.

Joe Biden spent his Democratic convention speech presenting himself as the man who will bring civility and decency back to America.

Now it is Mr Trump’s turn to focus his message.



WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 25: Eric Trump, son of U.S. President Donald Trump, pre-records his address to the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Republican Party to move away from an in-person convention to a televised format, similar to the Democratic Party's convention a week earlier. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)



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Here are ten things to look out for:

1. An unconventional backdrop

This week has been a norms-busting spectacular.

The president transformed the White House into a backdrop for his campaign, breaking with precedent and raising ethical questions.

He is set to deliver his nomination acceptance speech from the South Lawn.

2. An audience

Despite the fact the virus is still raging in America, the president has opted to open the event to what he craves and thrives on: an audience.

And the man with a keen eye for TV aesthetics will himself be basking in the benefits of a very extensive lighting rig.

3. A stable, dealmaking, family man

Expect his speech to praise his family, tout his dealmaking skills, his patriotism and his sharp mind.



Mike Pence



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4. Some big financial boasts

America may have endured record unemployment this year, but Mr Trump can legitimately claim to have done very well on the economy before the “China virus” struck.

His economic record is one of his greatest political weapons and money and jobs are extremely high on voter priority lists.

5. Some revisionist history

The campaign videos and speeches in this convention have painted a portrait of Mr Trump’s leadership as a COVID-19 success story.

He knows the pandemic could hurt him this election and this week seems to be an attempt to offer an augmented reality in the hope it will stick.



Melania Trump addresses the Republican Convention during its second day from the Rose Garden of the White House



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The problem for the president is the grim fact that 180,000 people have died in the country – one of the worst death rates in the world.

But it all depends on who or what voters attribute that to.

6. Some empathy?

It would be politically expedient to acknowledge the horrendous death toll.

It might be a little tricky in the same breath he is claiming victory on COVID-19, but the president knows the stakes are high and may well choose this platform to extend condolences to grieving families.

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What he says at these set-piece speeches are often more constrained than his rallies and day-to-day reactions.

7. Law and order messaging

Mr Trump has been consistently hyped as the law and order candidate this week – portrayed by his supporters as the man to instil calm in a country beset with protests, racial division and unrest.

It is part of a pitch to suburban voters who have deserted his party.

A demonstrator in Kenosha, Wisconsin
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It remains to be seen how the president’s speech will go down as protests continue in Wisconsin over the shooting of a black man by a police officer

He will need to convince voters to look at the protests through the lens of crime, and Democrats as the party of radicals hellbent on chaos – a dystopian dangerous prospect for America.

If he manages to appeal to peoples’ fear of instability, that could pay big political dividends in key swing states like Wisconsin, the site of the recent unrest.

Get it wrong and he risks riling the Democratic base and alienating moderates who may view it as stoking racial tension.

8. The Great Unifier

Despite his hard-line messaging on protests, Mr Trump likes to paint himself as the man who embraces the marginalised, who has done more for America than any president since Abraham Lincoln and who has supported women and mothers in the workplace.

The President tweeted that Oregon had seen 'another bad night'
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Donald Trump has a strong base

Expect bold claims on how he will bring the country together and more on how Democrats are being held hostage to political extremists and will threaten people’s financial and personal security.

9. Legitimacy test

The president has spent months casting doubt over the reliability of universal mail-in voting.

What, if anything, he says about the legitimacy of the election tonight could have a big impact.

10. A twist

Mr Trump is an unpredictable showman that knows the power of the unexpected – whether it is in stunts or rhetoric.

Despite everything I have said before this, who knows what he will pull out of the bag.

He needs a big bounce from this convention – he is trailing Mr Biden in the polls in six battleground states.

Will he make space for some olive branches?



Sky News