The 2020 Election Campaign has already been impacted and slowed down due to coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the elections in the past, this year, the election campaign would be held under rather isolated circumstances, through various channels such as audience-free platforms or through mainstream media such as television shows, and electronic, print and digital media. No matter which platform a political party chooses, here is a detailed wrap up of what is really going on in the United States right now.
Effect on COVID 19 on 2020 Election Campaign
As per the recent reports, many states have postponed their primary elections to far off dates from March and April to somewhere in May and June. Since May is upon us and the pandemic shows no signs of going away, it can easily be deduced that the elections will be postponed once again. If the states do not agree to postpone them once again and go ahead with the already decided dates, then they will have to conduct them via mail as other states did.
In March and April, some states did not adhere to the social distancing protocols and went with their decision to hold elections via the ballot box option, resulting in a surge in COVID-19 cases in just two days. Therefore, to prevent the number of coronavirus cases from rising, following the mail-in option seems to be the safest.
However, the mailing in option has its downsides. The process is cumbersome and very detailed. It involves a lot of costs and would be tedious for both the states and people to follow through. The impact of COVID-19 is clearly evident at this point. Its impact on the election campaign itself has already been mentioned briefly.
Many states have already canceled large gatherings and public meetings which leaves no chance of one-on-one sessions of candidates with their supporters. The uncertainty over the ongoing lockdown still persists and people are still unsure whether stay-at-home orders will be lifted anytime soon.
Many states and federal representatives are in the process of deciding whether or not the social distancing protocols should be compromised to facilitate the process of the election campaigns. As if the death toll by the first wave of COVID -19 was not enough, the medical fraternity is predicting a second wave of COVID-19 which is likely to hit during the ending trimester of 2020.
With all these alarming facts dished out on one’s plate, it is not difficult to see that the election campaign would be heavily impacted in the coming days too. In such circumstances, what are the options left for candidates to pursue their election campaigns? Let’s explore them in detail below.
The Future of Election Campaign
The only option left for candidates to pursue their election campaigns in 2020 is through virtual means. As mentioned earlier as well, candidates can either endorse their election campaign through the traditional electronic and print media or by going digital.
This will include holding interviews and sessions under proper social distancing protocols and using their friends in the print and electronic media fraternity to create content that would favor their respective parties. Also, the candidates can spend on advertising through television and radio media.
In addition to this, candidates can also partner with social media influencers or create their own social media profiles and manage their campaigns from there. They can make use of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and many others to go live, conduct polls, hold question and answer sessions alongside a multitude of options.
Social media has always been known for its ability to create awareness among its users and form opinions of the masses. It is also very helpful in engaging the viewers through live videos and creating loyal fans and supporters if they are connected through the medium properly.
Other ways to keep the campaign going would be any other audience-free platforms available to them.
Impact On Voters’ Decision
The outbreak of COVID-19 has left a profound impact on Presidential Campaign itself. The decision to hold in-booth elections is still doubtful and amidst all this, political think tanks are also discussing the situation’s impact on voters. The Trump administration has always been favored because of its economic policies. However, now the economy is also unstable. According to experts, this whole situation is giving Joe Biden a clear edge over Trump.
Trump administration is under fire for its delayed response to COVID-19 and recently the incumbent President said in an interview that he favors voting via booth centers. While all health professionals are urging precautions and states are doing their best to enforce social distancing guidelines, this interview further paints him in the bad light.
On the other hand, Biden not only has an agreeable personality but his party is also known for their humane views as compared to Republicans. Moreover, Biden has been very cautiously dealing with the whole pandemic situation and is using it to his advantage against Trump. The conduct of both the candidates in these uncertain times is evident and giving Biden a clear advantage over Trump.
As the experts are saying, the election campaign will have to stay virtual this year. There is no other way around it. However, whether the elections will be held in booths or through mail-in method is yet to be decided.
While all states are allowed to make their decisions independently, Trump and his administration are calling for elections via booth centers. Though, unsafe, they can be held traditional way by creating more booth centers and imposing social distancing guidelines. However, the process will only cost the economy more money.
Recently, South Korea also held their elections amidst the ongoing pandemic but they had complete control over the whole process and have contained the virus intelligently. Then again, medical experts say that COVID-19 will hit again strongly in the fall.
Therefore, the better decision would be to conduct elections via the mailing-in option. As for the election campaign, it cannot be held outdoors given the stated facts and rising death toll in the United States.