Daily Outlook

Why populist world leaders are fearing a Trump election loss

The upcoming U.S. election is being keenly watched by world leaders who have looked to President Donald Trump for favor and friendship, and who share his political ethos. If he fails at the election, political experts believe other leaders who espouse similarly populist politics — from Matteo Salvini, who leads Italy’s anti-immigration Lega party, to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi — could see their own political fortunes change, and that a populist surge that swept such radical and anti-establishment leaders to power across the world, including Trump, could wane.

From Brexit to the election of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, populist politicians and parties around the world share common characteristics with Trump’s politics; they tend to lean to the right and promote nationalist, anti-establishment and anti-immigration policies, as well as sharing a skepticism (and often a downright rejection of) globalization.

The election of Donald Trump in 2016 seemed to come at the height of a populist wave through global politics. Earlier that same year, the U.K. voted to leave the EU after years of euroskepticism, anti-immigration and populist rhetoric from the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) and sections of the British press that published anti-EU stories, including a good deal of “fake news.”

Four years on from Trump’s election, and amid a sharply criticized response to the coronavirus pandemic and severely damaged economy, Trump’s prospects in the November vote are uncertain with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ahead in the most recent polls.

Why populist world leaders are fearing a Trump election loss, CNBC, Oct 12

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