Americans do not vote directly for their presidents. We vote for the people who will vote for our presidents. Each state is assigned electors, based partly on population, but each state is assigned an additional two electoral votes, regardless of its size. Consequently, a vote from a person in a rural state has more influence than a vote from an urbanized area. This system has given us five presidents who came in second in the people’s vote with mixed results. Three have made us question this system. With Rutherford Hayes, we got Jim Crow law that denied African Americans their civil rights for more than 100 years. With George W. Bush, we got the Iraq war. With Donald Trump, well, we got – Trump!
The 2020 U.S. election has people around the world on the edge of their seats, wondering who will become the next President of the United States. The two candidates – former Vice President Joe Biden and the incumbent President, Donald Trump – would become the oldest men to ever have held this office. Another ‘first’ is Biden’s VP pick, Kamala Harris, junior senator from California, the first-ever woman of color running on a presidential ticket. In addition, a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and nationwide demonstrations protesting systemic racism make this election more exciting than ever.
While U.S. pollsters, such as Larry Sabato or Nate Silver, predict a likely victory for Democrat Biden, Trump’s 2016 surprise upset lead many pollster to ask how reliable election polls really are. And sometimes, the best pollsters are not those featured in the news, but are those found in high school classrooms.
Are German-American relations in a critical state? If public opinion surveys are anything to go by, perhaps so – at least according to Germans. While Americans generally still hold on to a positive image of Germany, the same cannot be said for the way most Germans view the United States. A jointly conducted poll by the Pew Research Center and the Körber-Stiftung revealed late last year that while “three-quarters of Americans see relations with Germany as good,” nearly “two-thirds of Germans (64%) see relations as bad.” More alarmingly, the New York Magazine quotes a survey conducted by YouGov revealing that Germans view President Trump as “a greater threat to world peace than any other head of state” – a noteworthy distinction, especially in light of the existence of other controversial leaders, such as the likes of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.