For all the odd and outrageous developments in this presidential campaign season, the outcome will likely boil down to the basics of voter turnout, according to Virginia Tech political expert Brandy Faulkner.
“The percentage of undecided voters is very small compared to past presidential elections. An overwhelming majority made up its mind long ago. Undecided voters will not play a significant role in this election. However, turnout will,” according to Faulkner. “Both candidates are far more concerned about getting people to the polls than they are with reaching undecided voters.”
Even President’s Trump’s COVID recovery is less likely to impact the outcome, according to Faulkner.
“I’m not sure it will have a significant effect on the campaign,” she said. “For some, it is shining a light on healthcare inequities as the president received immediate tax-supported medical treatment, including medications that are not generally available to the public. For others, it continues a conversation about how serious the virus is and whether the preventative measures we’ve been asked to take are effective. However, those are discussions that were already occurring. And, the president has made it clear that he intends to continue campaigning publicly, provided he’s healthy enough to do so.”
For Democratic challenger Biden, Faulkner says “I would tell him to push hard for significant turnout. It’s one thing to know that you’re favored among youth but quite another to convince them they really need to vote. This is true especially since many of the issues they care about are largely being ignored in the campaigning.”
Brandy Faulkner is Collegiate Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her areas of specialization include constitutional and administrative law, race and public policy, and critical organization theory. She teaches courses in public administration, constitutional law, administrative law, research methods, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender. View her full bio here.
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