Will the Corona Virus Impact the 2020 Presidential Election Primaries?
The Corona Virus impact on the presidential election is already being felt this week. In Ohio, the primary was cancelled in a complicated set of circumstances. Governor Mike DeWine said the State would not open polls due to the corona virus pandemic after a judge refused to postpone the primary. After the Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, declared a health emergency and the closing of the polls, the Ohio primary was postponed. The Governor argued that the primary was an unacceptable health risk to both the voters and the poll workers.
A few days before Ohio postponed their primary, Louisiana re-scheduled their primary by two months. Louisiana State law permits such an action if their Secretary of State declares an emergency.
In fact, to date Georgia, Kentucky, and Maryland as well as Louisiana and Ohio have all postponed or moved to postpone their primaries. New York, in addition, is considering a change to their primary.
Will the Corona Virus Impact the 2020 Presidential Election Caucuses Too?
The Corona Virus impact even extends to the presidential election caucuses. Wyoming has eliminated in-person caucuses in favor of mail in or drop off ballots.
Will the Corona Virus Impact the Primary and Caucus Voter Turnout?
Yes, it’s possible that older baby boomers might sit out the primaries and caucuses to avoid putting themselves at risk. These Democratic voters probably would favor former VP Joe Biden and if they stay home, Biden might lose more potential Delegates.
In a similar way, younger and presumably healthier voters less at risk for the Corona Virus might feel more likely to vote for Sanders. Sanders might pick up some additional Delegates that could make a difference at a close or brokered convention in July.
In places, such as Burbank near Chicago, voter turnout seemed low.
What about Polling Locations and Poll Workers?
During the last presidential election, 56% of poll workers were age 61 or older. Obviously, the older someone is, the more at risk they are to be infected by the Corona Virus. It’s not surprising then that States are encountering shortage of poll workers to oversee the primaries. As of last Sunday, the State of Florida had almost 800 poll workers call in to say that they would not be available for the Florida primary.
Another problem, polling locations. It’s not uncommon to make nursing homes polling places as a convenience for seniors living in those nursing homes. Obviously, this might be a problem of social distancing with at risk voters.
Will the Corona Virus Impact the Selection of the Democratic Presidential Nominee?
Because the Democratic Party Establishment has rallied around Joe Biden to keep Bernie Sanders from gaining the nomination, it is likely the Joe Biden will go into the Democratic Party convention with more Delegates than Bernie Sanders. However, neither candidate might be able to obtain the 1,991 Delegates necessary for the nomination on the first ballot.
If the Democratic Party had not rallied around Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders would likely have been their nominee.
What about the 2020 Presidential Election?
President Donald Trump will be applauded for how well he handled the Corona Virus crisis and he will be re-elected easily with 367 Electoral Votes.
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