Anyone interested in the future of Israel and the Arab Middle East should be taking a very close look this week at the state of the American presidential elections.
First, because as of today, we are just 43 days out from the Nov. 3 elections. This thing is coming up fast.
Second, because the first presidential debate will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Third, because the two nominees — Joe Biden and Donald Trump — have vastly different approaches towards advancing Mideast peace-making, handling the Iran nuclear threat, and being pro-Israel, even though both vigorously claim the mantle of being more pro-Israel than the other.
Last week was a case in point.
• Trump and his allies argue that without his leadership, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would not have signed the first Arab-Israeli peace deals in a quarter of a century. What’s more, Trump says another 5 or 6 Arab countries are getting ready to make peace very soon.
• Biden and his allies, by sharp contrast, praised the UAE and Bahraini peace deals, but argue that they are inevitable result of shifting events and priorities in the region, not Trump’s leadership.
ALL ISRAEL NEWS is a non-profit and thus a non-partisan news site. As I reported over the weekend, a former National Security Council staffer from the Clinton administration told ALL ISRAEL NEWS that the Abraham Accords certainly “represent a step in the positive direction” but that “President Trump taking credit for these deals this week is like the rooster taking credit for the dawn.”
ALL ISRAEL NEWS is a non-profit and thus a non-partisan organization. We will, therefore, do our best to provide fair and accurate coverage of the American elections since their outcome will significantly affect the future of the region. But we can’t and won’t endorse a candidate.
In the days ahead, we will take a closer look at the policy differences between Biden and Trump.
For now, let’s simply look at the state of the horse race.
BIDEN IS AHEAD. The Real Clear Politics average of all major poll puts Joe Biden in the lead by 6.5 points.
BUT THE RACE IS TIGHTENING: That said, that the Real Clear Politics average has tightened since the summer.
• A new poll released in September. 16 by Rasmussen became the first — and thus far the only — national survey to give the lead to President Trump, narrow though it is. They have Trump at 47% and Biden at 46%.
• “The race has narrowed over the past two weeks. Biden had a two-point lead last week, but that survey also marked the first time Trump had edged above 45% over the past two-and-a-half months,” notes Rasmussen. “Prior to this week, Biden has bested Trump in every weekly survey since White House Watch began at the beginning of July..... The survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted September 9-10 and 13-15, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.”
• To be sure, the Rasmussen team’s numbers are an outlier. Again, most national polls show Biden significantly ahead of Trump. That strongly suggests the race is Biden’s to lose.
• Still, the reason it is worth at least bringing Rasmussen’s poll to your attention — regardless of who you want to win — is because most polls were dead wrong in 2016, while Rasmussen was one of the most accurate that year.
WHAT TO WATCH:
• How do Biden and Trump perform is the upcoming debates?
• How does the US economy perform — and how many jobs are created and lost — in September and October?
• Will we see any significant signs of improvement with COVID-19 between now and Election Day, or do things get worse?
• And will their be any stunning surprises, revelations and/or major domestic and international events that significantly alter the course of the race in the last 40 days or so.
BOTTOM LINE: Pray for the safety and health of both major candidates and their families, and pray that in the end that the Lord’s sovereign will is done, not our own.
As we read in the Bible — in the Book of Daniel, chapter 2, verses 20 and 21, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who....removes kings and establishes kings.”
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.