The Coronavirus and 2020 US Elections

The Coronavirus and 2020 US Elections

The majority of traditional politics are on hold. Candidates have had to play good Samaritans because there is a bigger problem at stake and that is the coronavirus. One can’t help but wonder how things are going to turn out. A good number of Democrats doubt if the National Convention will take place in July as it had been planned. President Trump, on the other hand, is determined to hold the Republican elections which could be in contradiction with the present realities. For a diehard Republican, you might be wondering when you should start shopping for patriotic merchandise.

Both presidential candidates might have to hold onto the campaigns until the summer. Thousands of candidates have had to play the role of a Good Samaritan while balancing their political ambitions so that they don’t appear to be insensitive to the current crisis. The coronavirus has completely upended the political life in America. It has become increasingly harder to raise money for campaigns, reach out to supporters or even voice political opinions. When normal electioneering resumes, things will completely be different.

The outbreak has so far caused more than 60,000 deaths and over 30 million people have lost their jobs because of the virus. The incumbent president will be judged by how he steers the country through these challenging times. President  Trump is facing the most difficult challenge yet in his presidency.  The question will be “How did you manage one of the biggest crises since the Great Depression?” There is no doubt the duration of the elections will shrink. Candidates won’t have enough time to convince the electorate.

Less Campaign Time

Presidential elections usually dominate news coverage for more than a year, but not in the current situation.  The pandemic has hit some regions more than others. This could mean that candidates have the opportunity to campaign in the areas that are less hit. There is likely to be less interest in the presidential race and the politics in general until the spread of the virus slows down significantly.

Currently, there are no campaigns going on because voters are more preoccupied with their health and safety. There have been numerous instances in American history where the presidential elections have been carried out under difficult circumstances such as war. The most recent one has to be the New York mayoral race in 2001 which took place which took place when the Sept 11 attack was still fresh in the memory for a lot of people.

President Trump has used the opportunity to portray himself as a wartime leader with his daily briefings. There are indications that his popularity has gone up in the last couple of weeks. The more reassurance he provides for Americans, the easier it will be for the Republicans in the upcoming elections.

This is a race that is likely to turn out as a response to the current health crisis that has put America in the spotlight. Mr. Trump has insisted that his Convention will go on as planned in August but that still remains to be seen as we fight an enemy that we know very little about.

The Democrat Party

For Democrats, there have been discussions about conducting the National Convention through mail although there is nothing conclusive yet. It is time that political parties start considering ways of holding their conventions given the prevailing circumstances. Democrats are buying ads to try and convince voters of Mr. Trump’s initial dismissal of the virus but that has proven to be futile because people are more concerned about the existential threat that COVID-19 has caused.

There are some people in the party that believe that President Trump will be held responsible for failing to respond in time even when it was clear of the potential threat of the virus. One of the biggest questions that Mr. Trump has to answer is whether or not he can keep up with the wartime demeanor that he’s been known for over the last couple of weeks.

There have been signs of impatience from the President during his press briefings. Some experts don’t agree that life can return to normal as soon as he thinks. There are some Republicans that are of the opinion that the current crisis hasn’t been damaging in any way for Mr. Trump's reelection prospects. His campaign team still continues to raise money at an astonishing rate but they admit it is harder since the president is not present in the events.

Fund-raising has been a tad too challenging for other candidates as well. Republican experts project that fundraising will be down by 20% in the coming year. Candidates have had to be creative with raising funds for their campaigns.

Do the daily televised briefings give president Trump an edge over Joe Biden? Probably not but the president has been using the opportunity to try to reach out to the political divide. It is a reassurance that someone is at the helm of this crisis provided the hope that is much needed during these tough times. The longer this goes on, voters will likely look at what happened in the past and what the President did about it. It is also interesting to observe how far Joe Biden and his campaign team are willing to go in response to the president’s approach to the crisis.

It might be too early to tell the impact of the coronavirus on the upcoming elections. As we approach fall, observers will be keen on the state of affairs and how they affect the presidential race.

If there is one thing that is clear it is things will not be the same in the upcoming elections. There is reason to be optimistic that we could go back to a different kind of normal but presidential campaigns will definitely be impacted in a major way. As much as the President’s popularity has been increased in the last couple of weeks, it still remains to be seen if it is going to be the same by the end of May. As an outsider, all you can do is to be optimistic that everything will be fine. If you want to buy merchandise to show your love for the president, you can check out 

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