2020 Election Update

Courtesy of fivethirtyeight.com

By Eva Lynch

A few months and a heap of uncertainty stand between President Donald Trump’s and former Vice President Joe Biden’s official standoff. The current pandemic is exposing many rarities in this process as it nears.

As a result of a completely uncontested ballot, New York reportedly announced the cancellation of its state primaries amid the current crisis, and all the other states that have not yet undergone their primary voting are postponing the massive gatherings. The date of the next round of voting is unknown, and as a result, so is the circumstantial condition of the primary process. 

Primary voting most noticeably informs each party’s decision on its nominee entering into the general election but also serves to determine several other races, including state and federal representatives, among others. But considering the circumstances and the hassle that accommodating all the registered voters in the United States, a number which exceeds 150 million people, with vote-by-mail procedures entails, some experts say the primary process could be thrown out in favor of maintaining the rough timeline of the general contest between Biden and Trump. This means that because each party has a presumptive candidate, following the national conventions, debates would be attempted on schedule and the November election date would inform the next round of voting.

Despite these experts’ predictions, there are those who disagree with this idea, and there is no official statement or even discussion on this possibility. Regardless, in-person voting is no longer a possibility; following Wisconsin’s continuation of voting procedures, at least three dozen of the voters present have tested positive for COVID-19. Mass vote-by-mail procedures are undoubtedly coming, whether they have to be accomplished once or twice, and states are rushing to prepare with little direction from the White House.

So, where do the two candidates stand?

Biden, the Democrats’ presumed candidate, is working on selecting the perfect running mate in order to secure key voting blocs which his moderate policies may deter and is reportedly reforming some of his more right-leaning policies, specifically on healthcare, amidst pressure from the party to secure those progressive votes. 

Trump’s handling of the pandemic remains a problem for his campaign, coupled with the economic crash which has subsequently ensued. Experts say the reason for his dwindling support amid the crisis lies in his increased TV-time because more face-time means more chances to make comments Trump has made have contributed directly to his decline in approval, specifically his most recent comment and explanation thereof that disinfectant injections and ultraviolet light as cures for coronavirus patients or immunizations for those at risk should be studied. Trump has already announced he will pare back his appearances during the daily White House coronavirus briefings.

Overall, the only constant in this election remains the uncertainty and change which have characterized it from the beginning.

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