History tells us that US elections are all about the economy. For a nation priding itself on economic dominance on the international stage, this makes sense.
Perhaps more importantly, Trump is losing support from one of his most crucial constituencies: senior voters. For years, the Republican Party has relied on older Americans (the country's largest voting bloc) to offset the sizeable advantage enjoyed by Democrats with younger voters. In critical states with older populations, like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, Trump's advantage with this key group has been essential to his political success.
But seniors are also among the most vulnerable to Covid-19, and some polls suggest they are losing faith in Trump as he pushes to reopen the economy, at the expense of stopping the virus.
If the approval ratings of the past are a guide, then Trump is a one-term president. But is history really likely to repeat itself so neatly?
Making Trump great again
In the face of falling approval ratings and a floundering employment picture, the Trump campaign is reverting to type. Trump's camp touts him as better able to rebuild the virus-hit economy than the presumptive Democratic nominee - Obama's erstwhile vice president, Joe Biden.
Making the virus work for them, the pandemic crisis has so far allowed Trump's campaign to both decry globalisation and villainise China. Following relatively recent signs of resolution to the long-running trade dispute with China, the highly politicised topic of bringing manufacturing back to US shores is back on the table.
Some estimates suggest ‘reshoring' manufacturing and production from China to the US could create three million more US jobs. The reality is far more complicated, particularly for US corporate profit margins, but the rhetoric will certainly appeal to much of Trump's audience.
The challenger enters the arena
Of course, November's election also offers another candidate - an alternative to Trump and his Republican Party. To make any significant impact, Biden and the Democrats would need not only to secure the presidency, but also the Senate (upper house of parliament). 35 seats will be up for grabs, and the Democrats require an additional four to gain control; taking over in Republican-controlled states hard hit by Covid-19 could tip the balance in their favour.
Biden himself is a centrist within the Democratic Party, and any Biden presidency would look very different to Trump's. China could probably breathe a sigh of relief, given Biden's longstanding views on free trade, though he could face some opposition to tariff relief (even within his own party).
Biden would also look to roll back a number of Trump's 2017 tax cuts, both corporate and personal. This could be meaningful for stockmarkets, particularly as these cuts have supported US consumer activity, corporate earnings, share buybacks, and the repatriation of hundreds of billions of formerly overseas US dollars.
Biden has strong views on energy policy too: the renewable energy sector would likely be a major beneficiary of a Biden presidency. The technology sector - a powerhouse of the US economy and a dominating feature of its stockmarket - will also be watching Biden with interest and potential trepidation, given his views on competition laws.
As always, the US presidential election will have huge ramifications, not just domestically, but globally too. It will impact financial markets substantially, and all investors will be closely watching each turn of events in the run-up to November.
David Absolon is investment Director at Heartwood Investment Management