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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump face off. Image Courtesy of @latimes via Twitter

How Covid-19 will Shape the 2020 Election

May 5, 2020

The coronavirus has completely decimated our ways of life.
This virus has dramatically challenged everyone with our government, economy and social lives in flux.
Here in the United States, matters are objectively getting worse as protestors take to the streets across the nation.
Protests are happening as far away as Michigan, to even as close as Harrisburg.
Many of these people are ignoring social distancing guidelines and will ultimately cause longer social distancing measures.

People in California protested social distancing and their desire to go back to work. Image Courtesy of @OANN on Twitter

With such being the case, many fear that the rights of the American people will be suppressed come time to cast their ballot for the 2020 presidential election.
They are not sure if they will even be granted the opportunity to go to the polls and may have to resort to vote-by-mail or online voting measures.
Regardless, the pandemic is certainly going to reshape the election in a number of ways between Republican President Donald Trump and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
One of the most prominent factors that will go into this election will be President Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
On the left especially, the president has been bombarded with criticisms over his handling of coronavirus.
Most attacks have been levied at Trump over matters such as cutting funding to the World Health Organization, and for not taking the disease very seriously, despite CDC warnings about the severity of the virus.
These matters are very important to people because every person wants to open up the country, but safely.
There are millions jobless, and there are many who will, rightfully or not, attribute that completely to Donald Trump’s handling of the virus.
When Trump promoted the possible benefits of two chemicals being “game changers” for medicine, one Arizona man drank the chemicals and died.
The media said this was all Trump’s fault, but Trump never promoted drinking the chemicals.
Matters like these make the mainstream media seem unreliable and as if they are trying to attack Trump.
This could help Donald Trump in the election since the media looks more unreliable and real criticisms of him become easier to resist.
People will take this into consideration when casting their ballots because the perception of Trump’s handling of the virus is then distorted in their minds.
Another massive factor is going to be the completely different campaigning styles the nominees will have to adopt during the pandemic.
Online campaigning is going to be essentially the only form of campaigning.

President Donald Trump’s Twitter page shows how large his online presence is. Screenshot Image by Mateo Vega

This significantly benefits Trump over Biden.
Biden has nearly 5 million followers on Twitter; Trump has over 77 million.
That alone goes to show just how much of an online presence Donald Trump dominates, especially over Joe Biden.
With such a massive following, people are going to undoubtedly hear much more Trump than they will Biden.
Already this would be a blow to the Biden campaign, but especially now when online campaigning has elevated significance, this is crippling to the Biden campaign.
Looking at another factor, the coronavirus is causing a shift in the minds of the American people.
These ideological changes as a result of the virus are going to heavily play into the election.
One of the most prominent ideological shifts because of the pandemic is xenophobia.
There has been a rise in hate crimes towards people of Asian descent especially, but also towards people who are perceived as being from places with high infection rates.
For example, in San Marcos, California, an unidentified man harassed an Asian woman, blaming her and Chinese people as a whole for the outbreak
With Trump’s stark stances on immigration, this could indirectly benefit him as people may be warier of people from outside the country.
The hate crimes being seen now are not a representation of anywhere near the mass public, simply more people are unsure about those from other places around the world right now.
The next massive ideological shift is a dramatic leftist shift.
More people are in support of, or at least open to listening about, universal healthcare.
Neither Biden or Trump is in support of such a bold policy idea, but it is a left-leaning idea.
With more people embracing this idea, the perspective of the people clearly shifts as a whole to the left and will certainly benefit Joe Biden.
All of these factors put together makes for a very strange time in American politics.
The fact that even physically going to the polls may not be available is a very surprising matter that is only in question solely because of the coronavirus.

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