Update on the Presidential Election

Charles Wang, Writer

The presidential campaigns started as the ambitions of many politicians to compete against Donald Trump, the current Republican president. The presidential election is coming this November, and the number of candidates is dwindling. Soon, there will be a Democrat nominated who will run against Donald Trump. 

There are only three Democrats left in the nomination race: Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Joe Biden, former Vice President for Barack Obama, of Delaware; and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. What started as an intense battle with more than a dozen candidates has now turned into a major rivalry between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. The majority of the candidates have since dropped out of the race and began to endorse another candidate. 

For instance, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Amy Kloubachar were among those who have dropped out to endorse candidate Joe Biden. Biden’s endorsement wave is being caused by the Democrat’s attempt to have a fighting chance of winning against President Trump; in the eyes of many, Biden has the strongest chance of beating Trump in the final election.

Most recently, the outbreak of the coronavirus has had visible effects on the election. First, the spread of the coronavirus is increased by public crowds. Because people are increasingly informed to not venture into tight spaces with other people, it will inevitably be much harder for the election to pan out smoothly. 

Millions across the world are already locking themselves inside their houses. The voter turnout for Iran’s parliamentary elections came out to be the lowest since the year 1979, barely breaking 40%. The pandemic will have an inexorable effect on the campaigns for the US presidential candidates, as well. 

Statistics might not be the only thing exacerbating the fear of the worldwide outbreak: Both the FBI and Homeland Security stated in October of 2019 that Russia might try to interfere in elections using some form of voter suppression, and people are now contending the possibility that Russian agents are responsible for placing some false rumors about COVID-19. 

Neither Biden nor Sanders has made any appearances in Washington in the days before the election. Unfortunately, as Rick Hasen, a law expert at the University Of California, Irvine’s Law school, says nothing is currently in place as a response if the virus causes disruptions in the Presidential Election Day. Major changes to the conventions could be a headache for both parties since the coronavirus is an unprecedented event.

Different states are likely going to respond differently to the outbreak; for example, Louisiana postponed its April 4 primary by two months, becoming the first state to adjust its elections due to the pandemic. 

Going forward, all we do know for is that the coronavirus is likely going to continue to alter the path of the elections.