Photo courtesy of Wikicommons | President Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire, in July of 2015
By William Gruwell ’21
COVID-19 single handedly put the entire world on hold. It halted immigration, world trade and the stock market nearly as quick as the eye can see. With the upcoming 2020 United States presidential election, changes are imminent, and questions must be answered. How will the candidates respond?
For starters, we see that primary elections nationwide are being put off, along with rallys initially put on by the candidates. Knowing what we now know, the election will occur between current President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and vice president to the Obama administration Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee.
“There is one issue with choosing Biden as our nominee. He is not exciting. He has been a staid figure in the Party and politics in general for decades now” stated John Cole Lomax ’21, a co-leader of Brophy’s Young Democrats Club. He went on to explain the importance of Biden’s Vice President selection as that may be just the thing needed for the democrats to win over the presidency.
Similar to what Lomax stated, Grant Meszaros ’21 who is a co-leader of the Brophy Young republicans club made it known that he believes Biden is not as strong of a candidate as many think. “Joe Biden is a very weak candidate against President Trump, and it will show in the upcoming debates.” said Meszaros.
The election is slated for Tuesday, November 3rd of this year.
As of now, both clubs do not have anything scheduled nor events planned for Election Day.
Trump’s daily briefings receive global attention every time he goes on the air. This particular situation is greatly beneficial to his campaign, as these briefings give him more views than holding a rally.
Mr. Jim Welty ’10 explained the turbulence the Trump campaign is going to face with this pandemic. “Trump’s COVID-19 response will likely earn Joe Biden comparatively more support from independent voters… early polling has shown Trump to be losing support for his Coronavirus response, and his approval rating has gone down with it.” said Mr. Welty.
Trump’s unconventional way of operating was highlighted by Ms. Kelly Guffey, “He doesn’t like typical politicians or big federal government, he wants to loosen government regulations, etc. The problem is that a pandemic situation, or maybe a war, is the time when you need a big federal government plan to curb the spread of the virus.” She also went on to agree with Mr. Welty’s view and said it will not necessarily be as easy as an election than previously thought.
When asked in what ways COVID-19 will affect the general election specifically, Ms. Guffey mentioned two ways in particular.
“I think the government’s response to the virus, including lock downs, testing, access to healthcare, etc will show lights and shadows in the way we respond to serious situations. Voters could think the measures taken are appropriate and others may be concerned about the lack of safety measures or the increase in authoritarian policies.” Secondly, she mentioned the economy and its importance in elections. “If unemployment keeps rising, that could create a more difficult election for any incumbent.” said Ms. Guffey.
As we have seen nationwide, the government’s stay at home orders are crushing businesses leading to many American’s getting laid off. According to Fortune writer Lance Lambert, as of April 30 the unemployment rate has now hit 30.3 million people, topping the great depression.
When it comes to the ballot, Mr. Welty explained that disaster can be in store when election time comes. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, along with countless other public health experts, are sure that COVID-19 will be with us in the Fall, meaning that safety during the November 3rd election now needs to be addressed.” said Welty.
As the days dwindle until Election Day, we as a country have less and less time to figure out the election procedure. Mr. Welty went on to explain that, “there are logistical, procedural, and legal matters each state must work through first, which could take months, and congress has yet to deliver the proper funding. So it’s either we start figuring this out now, or we wait until it’s too late.” If our government waits, the election can be chaotic.