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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, July 6, 2020

COVID and the Election

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.  

Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to public policy and the electoral process.

Joan Greve at The Guardian:
Just two months ago, Donald Trump was warning against “bailouts” for Democratic-run states that were grappling with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help – they’re run by Democrats in every case,” the US president said at the time, as hard-hit states such as New York and California sought federal financial relief from the impact of the virus.
Two months later, the US map of new coronavirus outbreaks looks entirely different. States that reopened quickly, as the president advised, are now seeing a surge in cases and a rising hospitalizations and that is impacting the Republican heartland. States that Trump won in 2016 account for about 75% of the new cases, according to the Associated Press.

Melanie Mason and Seema Mehta at LAT:
To George Fuller, mayor of McKinney, Texas, his recent decision seemed a no-brainer: Require everyone in his city to wear a mask inside businesses to stem the spread of the coronavirus and avert a full economic shutdown.
Some constituents in his Dallas exurb saw it differently. They pelted him with profane emails, calling him a “pathetic, cowardly little dictator,” even disparaging his teenage daughter for contracting the virus. The vitriol toward masks, Fuller said, reflected President Trump’s refusal to fully embrace them as a tool to stop the spread.
“It’s from the top — it’s why we have the problem we have,” said Fuller, a nonpartisan mayor who has long voted Republican. “It’s unbelievable to me that it’s become the political thing that it is. Our president could have shifted this or diverted from this path, easily.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic bearing down on red states that had previously been spared, officials in these hot zones are finding their efforts to combat the outbreak undermined by the leader of their own party.