Coronavirus is single-handedly changing the entire scope of politics

COVID-19 pandemic drastically affects politics in U.S.

Isabel Engel

COVID-19 pandemic drastically affects politics in U.S.

Isabel Brittin, Staff Writer

With the upcoming presidential election, 2020 was going to be a big year for conservatives and liberals alike with growing anticipation for their respective candidates. However, with election day only six months away, the national quarantine and social distancing rules are sure to play a major role in defining American politics for more than just this year.

For Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee who will take on President Trump in November, his campaign began almost a year ago, but has now been pushed off to the side in the wake of the coronavirus. 

While Mr. Biden has switched to digital organizing with an online action center for volunteers to participate in during quarantine, a fundamental aspect of the campaigning season is the ability for candidates to connect with voters in person.  

“If the coronavirus lockdowns extend into July and August, it means our news cycle is going to be solely focused on the coronavirus and it is going to be very difficult for Joe Biden and the Democrats to get the level of media attention that they need to be successful,” said head speech and debate coach Harry Strong. 

On the other hand, prior to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump was heading into the election with a strong economy and job market, two factors which have historically increased reelection chances. Yet with the economy in steady decline as the pandemic rages on, these next few months could make or break his presidency. 

Outside of Mr. Biden and President Trump’s campaigns, junior Kay Rollins believes that the coronavirus has showcased the many problems in America’s healthcare system. Healthcare has already played a crucial role in the 2020 election as a top issue for both Democrats and Republicans. 

“Americans are afraid that they or someone they love will get the virus, and that fear is sure to come out in the election. I’m hoping that the virus will force politicians to listen to people on healthcare and understand that funding for healthcare shouldn’t be that partisan of an issue,” said Kay. 

Voting has especially taken a major hit due the coronavirus outbreak. Already 16 states have postponed their primary election, including Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. Many states are working to increase the availability of mail-in ballots to prepare for the likely circumstance that social distancing guidelines are still in place. 

However, even in the midst of the coronavirus chaos, sophomore Clay Socas is hopeful that some lessons could be learned during all of this confusion. 

“I think coronavirus will get young voters to care more about politics because it is clear now more than ever that the government’s actions and the people who we choose to make decisions for our nation directly impacts all our lives. Voting is key to having the right people in office so when times like these come around, we can have all branches of the government act in a way we believe is moral and the best for the entire world,” he said.