Many factors not usually thought of by voters affect the turnout and results of elections. Weather, entertainment events, traffic, and now public health are all Election Day players. How will coronavirus affect this November if the spread of it is still a concern? Like this…
- Turnout: It could be lower, much lower. That could help both sides. GOP voters are typically more motivated to vote. So that could bring them out in greater relative numbers. Advantage GOP.
But older voters tend to be more conservative and they could have a greater worry over the virus. Advantage Democrats. Younger voters will feel less at risk over the virus. Advantage Democrats.
But current stats say that the virus is not just hitting the older population but that nearly half the cases are from people under 50. That could change the perceptions of young voters who tend to vote more liberal and keep them at home. Advantage GOP.
- Regional: There are certain sections of the nation harder hit than others. Big cities and some coastal states like those on the west coast and New York have had a rough time. If that’s still an issue in November that will naturally keep some people at home. Advantage GOP.
Though there is enough Democrat cushion (long-time corpses and double-voting union members) to keep those states noted above in the blue column. But swing states on the coast like North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia? Big advantage for GOP.
- Social distancing at the polls: How many will not go to the polls just because they don’t want to stand so close to others? Will there be state regulations on social distancing at the polls? How far apart?
Will volunteers still be able to canvass outside of the polls and how far away from the voting space will they then be able to stand? Advantage…who knows?
Like most else this year, the November election will be set in the context of the coronavirus. The biggest turnout factor of all? If President Trump is perceived, as he is now, to have handled the health crisis well it’ll carry him a long way towards reelection.