Trump campaign playbook with Axios national political reporter Jonathan Swan

Part of the series



25 June 2020




(Washington DC time: Wednesday, 24 June, 8.00-9.00pm EDT)


Free but registration is essential

By almost any measure, Americans across the country, and observers around the world, believe this is one of the most consequential and important US presidential elections in living memory. At the present time, President Trump is trailing Joe Biden, in head-to-head national polling and in critical swing states, including Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona. The United States is struggling under the crisis of racial justice, the immense human toll inflicted by the coronavirus, and the devastating economic impact on the economy. Together, they may be driving a profound shift in voter sentiment and outlook. But President Trump is resolute, and his supporters remain as fervent as ever, and this could be the biggest decider in American elections when voter turnout is the greatest variable. Also, in a time when the economic downturn is hitting harder than in nearly a century, President Trump has higher marks in handling the economy than Joe Biden. Which factors will make the biggest difference? What is the candid view from inside the White House? Can Joe Biden sustain his favourable standing over the next four months?

To discuss these issues, USSC hosted a webinar event featuring Jonathan Swan, National Political Reporter at Axios in conversation with United States Studies Centre's Non-Resident Fellow Bruce Wolpe and CEO Professor Simon Jackman.

Jonathan Swan is an Australian journalist and the National Political Reporter at Axios. He covers the White House and Republican Leaders on Capitol Hill. For the 2016 campaign, he followed Republican candidates and donors and had an insider’s view of the Trump campaign. He was first to break several major news stories including that the United States would pull out from the Paris Climate Treaty, that Jerusalem would be recognised as Israel’s capital and that Steve Bannon was being fired. Previously, Swan was a political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald. He received the Wallace Brown Award in 2014 for most outstanding young journalist.


  • Jonathan Swan
    Jonathan Swan
    National Political Reporter, Axios

    Jonathan Swan is a national political reporter with Axios, where he covers the Trump presidency and Republican leaders in Congress. Swan has scooped countless major stories this year, and his weekly ‘Sneak Peek’ email offers an insider’s preview of upcoming developments at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Previously, Swan was a reporter at The Hill, where he focussed on Republican donors and campaign finance during the presidential campaign, and was named by Politico as one of the "16 breakout media stars" of 2016. Prior to joining The Hill, Swan held a yearlong fellowship with the American Political Science Association. An Australian, Swan started his career as a political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, based in Parliament’s Press Gallery, and in 2014 was awarded the Wallace Brown Award for most outstanding young journalist.

  • Bruce Wolpe
    Bruce Wolpe
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre. Bruce is a regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia. In recent years, Bruce has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman

    Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.


Part of the series

Election Watch

Since 2008 the United States Studies Centre has been helping make sense of the US presidential elections with a series of events featuring Centre experts and visitors.

View all events in this series