The U.S. Presidential election in the U.S. is set for Tuesday November 3, 2020. Mainstream U.S. media platforms anticipate the defeat of Donald Trump. Yet, they expected Hillary Clinton to win in 2016. What can you reasonably expect as the outcomes of this election? This article explores several plausible outcomes.

Donald Trump

Win or lose, Donald Trump will remain a bellowing blowhard spewing his conspiracy theories, lies, deception and defamation of others. If he loses, it is predictable he will launch his own broadcast multi-media network (aka Trump TV). Losing the election will expose Trump to both civil and criminal liability due primarily to ongoing investigations from the office of the New York Attorney General, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Manhattan (NY) District Attorney’s office. Win or lose, the world will not be without the ongoing voice and influence of Trump (and his supporters), no matter where his next nest may be. If he remains the U.S. President, continue to anticipate the unanticipated, the unexpected, the unpredictable, and strained international relations and new tensions around the globe with U.S. foreign policy.

The Winner(s)

When the world awakens on Wednesday November 4th, there will be no “official” winner of the U.S. Presidential election. Due to the massive number of ballots cast by mail in this election (due to Covid-19), it is likely that the “official” winners of this election will not be declared until at least November 11th. In fact, it may be later than this date. Many U.S. states have laws that do not allow them to begin counting ballots cast until November 3rd. This is a huge and time-consuming task that will delay the official recording of ballots cast. Furthermore, there may be legal challenges filed in the U.S. court system that challenge the official results declared in certain states.

U.S. domestic economic challenges

Covid-19 pandemic is surging again in the U.S. Current scientific estimates suggest the infection rates will continue to increase in the U.S. through the winter months. The ongoing economic impact of the pandemic will continue to erode GDP growth, employment and exert negative momentum upon the tangible, declining welfare of the U.S. citizenry. A change in the elected president in the U.S. is no magic bullet regarding Covid-19. This is particularly true in terms of the negative economic impacts the U.S. has suffered – and will continue to wrestle with – until a viable vaccine for Covid-19 is administered to the world. Expect recessionary economic influences to persist throughout 2021 in the U.S.

Furthermore, Covid-19 has caused the failure of tens of thousands of businesses, increased homelessness, and has re-arranged the employment realities for millions – as automation and replacement of human labor has been a necessary option to adopt for many industries and companies – re-configuring the reality for employment and economic stability for millions of U.S. citizens. It is important to remember that the U.S. is a consumer driven economy. When the income of people is compromised, consumer consumption drops. Unemployment causes the loss of income which translates into homelessness, hunger, and the loss of social stability. As one example, the U.S. leisure and hospitality industry has lost an estimated 7.7 million jobs. In terms of the aviation and travel industry, over 6 million travel-related jobs have disappeared in the US alone, resulting in over a US $9oo billion dollar hit to the national economy. Industry insiders anticipate it may take five years beyond 2020 before these industries recover to pre-pandemic levels of economic performance.

The U.S. economy was morphing before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. A growing segment in the U.S. has been required to work several jobs to make ends meet financially. Low wages, lack of affordable housing, affordable education, and escalating healthcare costs have all contributed to the growth in this cohort. This inequitable distribution of both wealth and opportunity will persist – and grow – in the U.S. over the next decade – relegating a growing proportion of U.S. citizens to confront the deleterious effects of this reality.

Societal polarization

No matter the outcome of the November 2020 U.S. elections, expect polarization to continue to inhabit and challenge the U.S. Expect domestic terrorism activities to remain problematic in the U.S. Expect the cases considered by the United States Supreme Court in the future to add fuel this incendiary division. Expect abortion rights, immigration reform, racism, law enforcement reform, gun ownership reform, income inequality, and the absence of universal healthcare to continue to remain enduring, stubborn obstacles unlikely to be resolved in 2021 - and beyond.

The United States Senate

Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives has a Democratic party majority. The U.S. Senate has a Republican party majority. They agree on little, if anything. Thus, nothing tangible gets accomplished for the benefit of the country. There is a possibility the Democrats could wrest the majority in the U.S. Senate in the November 2020 election, and maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. If this outcome materializes - and - Trump loses the U.S. Presidential election, The Democrats would control the White House and both houses in Congress. Thus, the ability for a Democratic party legislative agenda to become a reality is much more likely. Thus, a higher probability for change. This change would include reversing many of the policy initiatives and funding priorities of the current Trump administration and the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. If Trump wins and/or the U.S. Senate remains with a Republican Party majority, expect more paralysis on strategically important issues facing the U.S. The polling data from September 2020 indicates the public approval rating of the United States Congress is 17 percent. Thus, the U.S. public continues to express a resounding “no confidence” in their elected representatives in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

U.S. foreign policy

As stated above, if Trump remains the U.S. President, continue to anticipate the unanticipated, the unexpected, the unpredictable, more strained international relations, and new tensions around the globe with U.S. foreign policy. A knee-jerk, adrenal military intervention may not be out of the question in a 2nd Trump term (think Korean Peninsula, South China Sea and Iran). Expect Trump to continue to harangue NATO and threaten the U.S. withdrawal from NATO. If Biden wins the U.S. Presidential election, expect a vastly different tenor in U.S. foreign policy – one that will be focused on the process to restore dignity, trust, and respect with the global community.

In summary, no matter who wins the U.S. Presidential election on November 3, 2020 – the central issues facing the U.S. are numerous, complex, and ever-changing – compounded by the reality of the ongoing, uncontrolled Covid-19 pandemic. No politician anywhere on the globe possesses a magic wand to eviscerate the reality of Covid-19. Options for politicians are limited; more restrictions lead to more negative economic consequences. Fewer restrictions contribute to more infections, healthcare costs, and death. Due to legal wrangling, expect that the outcome of the November 3, 2020 U.S. elections will not be officially final by November 4th.

The world awaits an effective Covid-19 vaccine. The expectation in our 21st century is expecting immediate results; one injection and we’re all better - back to normal. Donald Trump was a former real estate developer and reality TV star. The hope that bolstered Trump’s initial election as President of the U.S. was the expectation that injecting one person into the White House would translate into immediate relief from what ails the U.S. It didn’t happen. If Biden wins on November 3rd 2020, the expectation for the U.S. will be the same as it was for Trump in 2016; one new injection and we’re all better - back to normal. That’s not going to happen.

Recovery for the U.S. will be a process – not an event. It’s going to take time – not one moment in time. That should be our expectation. Then, again, anything is possible.