Can we predict the effect of the pandemic on results? Not yet. We can look at traditional indicators, the economy and the president’s approval rating, but we don’t yet know if the economy will pick up or if the virus will surge in the fall.
“The Trump administration has decided to make an enormous policy and political bet, and the bet is that they can re-open the economy, and the economy will come back in time for the election, and that COVID-19 won’t re-erupt in a way that will either stifle those efforts or kill lots of people,” says Henry Brady, Dean of the Goldman School at UC Berkeley.
There is a question of how the threat of contracting COVID-19 will affect voter turnout, especially among minority voters, and if mail-in voting will be a successful replacement for in-person voting.
This conversation took place May 8th, before the events of the past week. Many of the points are in even sharper relief today in this interesting and sobering look at the next few months leading to the election and ultimately the swearing in January 2021.