Election Watch - Apr 2, 2020
Uncertainty for Democrats, and the nation
They are strange days indeed when the presidential race in a presidential election year seems to be an after-thought. But these are the days we are in. Due to all the news focus on COVID-19, many people are unaware of how odd the election is becoming. Take a look at these storylines from the week.
- Biden is favored to beat Trump in recent polls
- Biden might drop out at the summer convention.
- Biden has been accused of sexual assault.
- There might not even be a summer convention.
The race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders is over -- essentially, if not officially. Yet somehow things have become even less clear for the Democrats in this past week. While President Trump appears in daily news conferences, Joe Biden is struggling to keep his profile as the world becomes consumed with Coronavirus news. He appeared in several online interviews this week, but they may have hurt him more than helped.
There was reason to believe that a break from the campaign trail might have been the restful boost he needed, but Biden’s problems with speaking seem only to have gotten worse. He is increasingly forgetful and even disoriented at times. In a recent MSNBC interview, it almost seemed like he didn’t realize the interview was live, but that he thought it was being recorded and could be edited later to delete his many stops and starts. But of course it was live, and all of America can see Joe Biden is clearly struggling with communicating his thoughts.
The campaign has been going on for months and has now winnowed down to Biden. Could there yet be a better option for Democrats? Perhaps.
In the same way that the daily press Coronavirus updates seem to be benefiting President Donald Trump, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has suddenly seen his name being mentioned as a possible replacement should Biden stumble further. His regular TV appearances as he leads the nation’s biggest hot-spot against the virus have raised his name awareness and impressed some viewers. In fact, Las Vegas betting odds now have Andrew Cuomo, not Bernie Sanders, as the second most likely nominee for the Democratic party.
Compounding the issue for Joe Biden is the new accusation of a sexual assault. Tara Reade worked with then-Senator Biden and she alleges he assaulted her in 1993. At this point, there is no known evidence the accusation is true, or false. We do however have this statement from Joe Biden. “You’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.” That sounds a bit like a confession.
But he made that statement not regarding Tara Reade, but about Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “Believe women” was the mantra then and Joe Biden joined in, adding his voice to the idea that women’s accusations are credible simply because they are women. Now that the claim is against him, will he still urge us to believe that “what she’s talking about is real?” By the standard he appealed to earlier, calls for him to drop out of the race would be justified.
But gender does not determine guilt, evidence does. Joe Biden, especially if he is innocent in this matter, may be about to re-learn why that is true.
So while the race for Democratic nominee seems to be wrapped up in many ways, an unusual amount of uncertainty still remains. Even the July nominating convention is uncertain as the Coronavirus continues to cancel and postpone public gatherings. It is not out of the question that the convention could be postponed or canceled entirely.
And yet in spite of the tumult, recent polls show Joe Biden leading Donald Trump. ABC News had him up by two, and Fox News had him up by a whopping nine points. Will that still be true come November? Time will tell, but polls this far out are not particularly indicative. And in a republic that uses the electoral college, what matters even more than overall national numbers, is how each state will vote.
As you likely remember, due to overwhelming majorities in California and New York, Donald Trump lost the overall vote total in 2016. Yet he won the majority of states and the majority of electoral college votes, and thus won the election.
The same thing could happen again, but with the news in such unprecedented flux right now, it’s difficult to feel confident about what things will look like seven months from now.
Finally, how are Christians to respond in a crisis like this? How do we balance serving the community while also social distancing? It’s an unusual challenge. First, we can pray. The President called for a national day of prayer as the outbreak was beginning. You may have also received recent emails through MyFaithVotes from Gov. Mike Huckabee as well as CEO, Jason Yates that did a great job addressing these tough questions. We can pray, and we can serve. None of this is catching God by surprise and he will show the way to those who seek Him.
Our team is closely monitoring the changes resulting from the pandemic at local and state levels, and we are committed to keeping Christians informed about important resources and developments.
So far, fifteen states have had to move their primary elections due to the virus. The states include: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming. As part of the economic stimulus package, the federal government is taking measures to provide financial assistance to states to handle the elections amid the changes due to COVID-19.
As changes are being made, both in communities and in election dates and processes, we will be updating our Voting Assistance Center on our website at MyFaithVotes.org/voting-assistance.
Let’s continue to be the light of the world (Matt 5:14) that points people through the darkness to the Savior.
Caleb Backholm is a married father of three and a small business owner. A “political nerd” since childhood, he first started publishing social and political news commentaries in the Jr. High school newspaper and has been writing ever since. He attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN where he studied Broadcast Communications, Biblical Studies, and History. Originally from Washington State, he currently lives in Ft. Worth, Texas and is a student at Southwestern Seminary. Caleb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.
I am concerned about the amount of election fraud that will occur in the primaries and the general elections especially if mail in ballots are used. But my deepest concern is that the Democrats/Progressives and the media are working hard to use the elections to take over the country. Is it possible for you to investigate these issues? I truly fear for our constitution and our freedoms.