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How Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death could reshape US presidential campaign

www.nzherald.co.nz
3 min read
fairly difficult
Election campaign reshaped by death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A presidential campaign that was already tugging at the nation's most searing divides has been jolted by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, potentially reshaping the election at a moment when some Americans were beginning to cast ballots.

For months, the contest has largely centered on President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus, the biggest public health crisis in a century that has badly damaged his prospects for reelection as the U.S. death toll nears 200,000 people.

But in a flash, Ginsburg's death added new weight to the election, with the potential that Trump or his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, could pick a successor who could decide abortion access, environmental regulations and the power of the presidency for a generation.

With early voting underway in five states and Election Day just over six weeks away, Democrats and Republicans were largely unified in praising Ginsburg as a leading legal thinker and advocate for women's rights. But strategists in both parties also seized on the moment to find an advantage.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo / Getty Images

Facing the prospect of losing both the White House and the Senate, some Republicans viewed the Supreme Court vacancy as one of the few avenues remaining for Trump to galvanise supporters beyond his most loyal core of supporters, particularly suburban women who have abandoned the GOP in recent years.

"It's hard to see how this doesn't help Trump politically," said veteran Republican strategist Alex…
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