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Episode from the podcastSpectrum

Early Voting May Change the Impact of Last Week Blitz Campaigning

Released Tuesday, 27th October 2020
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We are in the last seven days of the 2020 Presidential election, but it is a campaign and a race like no other. Traditional campaigning has been turned on its head.

With seven days to go, 66 million people have already voted, eclipsing the total early vote count from 2016. Some experts say that by election day 85 million out of a total of 240 million eligible voters will have already submitted their votes.

We have had 48 percent of the total vote in 2016 already vote, thereby, altering the dynamics of last-minute campaigning, says Philip Elliott, Washington Correspondent for TIME and a columnist for TIME’s new daily political newsletter, “The D.C. Brief.”

Rallies and campaign events now rile up a candidate’s base vote, but last-minute policy arguments or issues are lost since so many people have already voted, he notes. The rallies also may not alter turnout.

Campaigning during a pandemic also has highlighted the different personal styles of the candidates. President Trump has been full speed ahead having massive rallies with few masks and no social distancing while former Vice-President Biden has been doing a great deal of virtual campaigning and trying to follow public health safety guidelines.

The contrasts in styles place the divides in the country in stark contrast with one-another. Trump is trying a more scatter-shot approach compared to Biden’s more laser directed messaging.

Trump’s surrogates, like Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, also have seemed to be spouting public messaging contrary to the President’s talking points. On the other side, former President Obama and Vice President Candidate Senator Kamala Harris have been more in tune with Biden’s messaging.

Elliott says that all of these nuances and variations from traditional campaigning make the race more difficult to track. He notes polling is much better in 2020 than in 2016 but there still may be silent Trump voters who will vote on election day but not participate in any polling.

He also notes the Republicans have bested Democrats in getting more new registered voters who the GOP hope go to the polls for Trump.

In any event, this last week of campaigning will be interesting. Listen to Elliott give us his inside the beltway perspective on this week’s Spectrum Podcast episode.
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