Before the coronavirus pandemic erupted in the US, I believed US President Donald Trump was a shoo-in for re-election in November. The economy was good, the jobless rate was low, and he was popular among Republicans. His rival, former vice-president Joe Biden, does not have the same charisma as his former boss Barack Obama. I believed it was a long shot for Biden to win. But the tide has turned. Trump is no longer a shoo-in for re-election. Opinion polls show his popularity has dropped because of his handling of the pandemic and economy. The polls show Biden's popularity has risen. It is no longer a long shot for him to win.
If you are a shoo-in, it means you are certain to win, such as an election or competition. The word "charisma" is used to describe people with a strong personality that makes others admire them. If you have a "long shot" it means you only have a very small chance of succeeding in something that you do. The expression "the tide has turned" used this way means a complete reversal of a situation. For example, if you are winning in a tennis match but your opponent suddenly starts to score more points, you can say the tide has turned.
The US election is still three months away. There is a popular saying that a week is a long time in politics. This means a lot can change in a very short time in politics. The tide can turn again if the coronavirus pandemic eases in the US and a vaccine is approved by November, which helps the economy to recover. If that happens, Trump will become a shoo-in again for re-election. But I think it's a long shot that a successful vaccine can be approved by US health officials before the elections. Many experts believe a vaccine will be available by the end of 2020 or early next year. Trump wants a vaccine before the election. I hope a safe vaccine can be found as soon as possible.
美國爆發全球大流行的新冠肺炎疫情之前，我認為美國總統唐納德‧特朗普要在十一月大選中競選連任，是十拿九穩的事（shoo-in）。當時的經濟不錯，失業率低，他在共和黨人中也相當受歡迎。他的對手，前副總統祖‧拜登，並沒有他前老闆巴拉克‧奧巴馬般的個人魅力（charisma）。拜登要贏，我相信是個很難成功的嘗試（long shot）。然而，形勢逆轉（the tide has turned），特朗普競選連任不再是穩操勝券（shoo-in），民調顯示，他的支持度已經下跌，是因着他在全球大流行疫情以及經濟方面的處理不善。各項民調亦顯示，拜登的支持度有所上升。他要贏得大選，再並非難以成功的嘗試（long shot）。
若你是a shoo-in，意即你是穩操勝券者，例如在一個選舉又或比賽之中。Charisma是用來形容人們有非凡的個人魅力，令他人為之欣賞。若你have a“long shot”，意即在你想做的某事上，成功的機會很渺茫。習語“the tide has turned”在這裏是指局勢有了一百八十度的轉變。譬如，若你在一場網球比賽中佔盡上風，正要贏了，但你的對手卻突然開始得更多的分，你便可以說the tide has turned。
美國總統大選還有三個月就要舉行了。有一個很流行的說法，就是a week is a long time in politics，意思即是政治一星期都嫌長，很多事情可以在短時間內改變。要是美國的新冠肺炎疫情放緩，在十一月能批出疫苗，那就能協助經濟復甦，局勢亦會再一次逆轉（the tide can turn）。若這能發生，特朗普連任又會是十拿九穩的事（shoo-in）了。
然而，要在大選之前成功研發疫苗，獲得美國衞生官員批准量產，是很難成功的嘗試（long shot）。許多專家都相信，疫苗可在二○二○年年底或明年初左右面世。特朗普則希望在大選前有疫苗。我希望安全的疫苗可以盡早研發成功。[email protected] 中譯：七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧