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A year before 2020 election, a divided and ‘angry’ America

photo by AP photo

Supporters of US President Donald Trump hold a \"Stop Impeachment\" rally in Washington, DC. America on Sunday kicks off the one-year countdown to Election Day 2020, with President Donald Trump betting an \"angry\" Republican surge can deliver him a secon

By AFP, Washington
04th-Nov-2019       
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America on Sunday kicks off the one- year countdown to Election Day 2020, with President Donald Trump betting an "angry" Republican surge can deliver him a second term, as the Democratic battle to win back the White House heats up.
The building political clash - dramatically fueled by the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry into Trump - appears to virtually guarantee another year of sharp division in a nation long weary of such drama.
Polls suggest the country couldn't be much more divided.
The latest projection from a University of Virginia political science team points to a dead-even 2020 race, with each party leading in states totaling 248 electoral college votes, 22 short of the 270 needed for election.
The division is reflected in the House, where the vote Thursday to formalize the impeachment inquiry passed almost entirely on party lines -more partisan than any of the three previous impeachment votes in US history.
As that inquiry proceeds, Trump has lashed out in increasingly angry, personal and crude terms, seeking to damage his political foes while energizing a fiercely loyal base.
In a speech Friday in Tupelo, Mississippi, he called Democratic leaders "mentally violent," denounced the impeachment inquiry as a "hoax" and said former vice president Joe Biden, once a Democratic frontrunner, was getting "slower and slower."
Trump has even retweeted, with apparent approval, a warning by an evangelical pastor that his impeachment could "cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation."
Amid all the furor, the top Democratic candidates have struggled for a share of the spotlight while anxiety grows among some in the party that a clear, strong challenger with mainstream appeal has yet to emerge.
That survey put Senator Elizabeth Warren in the lead, at 22 percent, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders, at 19 percent, with a surging Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, at 18 percent, one point ahead of the far better-known Biden.
But many Democrats fear Warren and Sanders are too liberal to win in a nationwide vote, and that Buttigieg - who has struggled to widen his appeal beyond a core of white, liberal voters - might not be electable. That also means less attention on the Democrats' top issues, including health care, gun control and immigration reform.

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