Governing amid division

The next US administration

An Oxford Analytica Conference Call

November 18, 2020, 15.00 UK/10.00 EST

After a uniquely rancorous and closely fought election, the United States faces the prospect of divided government from January 2021. While the Democrats retained their House majority, they do not control the Senate. The next president will therefore face serious opposition in Congress, hobbling his ability to govern. Nationally, the country seems polarised as never before. The sharp differences between Republicans and Democrats over the extent to which COVID-19 is a genuine threat to the country underscore how deeply this runs. Resentment over the conduct of this election and the result is likely to linger, long after the legal cases are settled.

At home, the next administration has pressing challenges concerning COVID-19, stimulus spending and the task of economic reconstruction. Questions of police reform and racial justice, which came to the fore so strongly in 2020, remain unaddressed. And beyond the country’s borders, many US allies and rivals are awaiting Washington’s next move—China on the trade and tech war, North Korea and Iran on the nuclear file, Europe on trade relations and NATO, Russia on arms control, and Asia on the US regional security posture and guarantees.

Among many potential questions, our panel will consider:

What are the prospects for bipartisan action to tackle COVID-19, to renew national infrastructure and to support employment?

  • How will some of the 2020 election’s surprises, in terms of voter groups casting their support in unexpected directions, affect the behaviour of parties and leaders?
  • What are the prospects for positive action on questions of racial equality in this polarised environment?
  • If Donald Trump loses the presidency, whither Trumpism?
  • What are the first moves we should expect from the new administration in the foreign policy sphere?
  • How will the United States endeavour to reduce economic dependence on China and to slow Beijing’s technological development?


Catharin Dalpino – Former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University

Niambi Carter – Associate Professor of Political Science, Howard University

Meghan Milloy Director of Strategic Communications, Institute of International Bankers

Join Oxford Analytica’s experts for this discussion and share your questions and perspectives in our client conference call on November 18, 2020, at 15.00 UK/10.00 EST.