The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways, most likely for good. 2020 is a big year from election terms as the presidential race heats up. But this isn’t the only electoral race that has been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown and limitations that were put into place. How has the coronavirus impacted and changed election campaigning in 2020? Let’s dive into a few specifics.
Campaigning Has Gone Online
Once stay at home orders began to come down from local governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued more stringent guidelines for containing the spread of the virus, campaigns were forced to go strictly online.
Gone were the massive gatherings for rallies and conventions. No more town hall meetings or speeches given to mass audiences. No more fundraising. No door-knocking. All of the tried and true methods for gaining any sort of electoral edge were gone. This has forced many candidates to go online, which is a challenge especially with a low budget and amount of manpower.
Part-Time Campaigners Are at a Disadvantage
It’s easy to forget that not every candidate is on the trail full-time. While campaigning becomes a full-time job for many, particularly at the state and local levels there are often candidates who work full-time in addition to hustling for an elected seat. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for digital campaigning. Unfortunately, as convenient as the internet is, the attention spans of those using it are often fleeting. So creativity is required as well as enough time to spend growing a digital presence. Candidates who cannot dedicate as much time as others may find themselves at a slight disadvantage.
Digital Marketing for Political Campaigns is Important – But It’s Expensive
The necessity for a savvy online campaign is now more important than ever. But this also requires at least some budgeting, especially for lesser-known candidates with a smaller network. Learning how to create engaging content and gaining some familiarity with the ins and outs of social media and other digital platforms can help cut cost down. However, investing in a solid digital campaign may end up being the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one, given the current circumstances.
But It’s Not All Scary – Now is the Time to Support Local Elections
If anything, there may be a silver lining to the drastic changes that campaigning and elections have undergone in just a few short months. And that is the attention that has been recently paid to the local officials leading each city and county through this pandemic. Some officials have faltered, others have risen to the occasion. This can be helpful for local candidates looking to gain some momentum ahead of an upcoming election. It’s important to support and vote in local elections, as often the decisions these officials make have a much more direct impact on you as an individual. Now is the time to bolster a local campaign around coronavirus response.
Elections and the campaign trail leading up to them have certainly undergone many changes of late. These changes are rather unprecedented, and it’s likely we haven’t seen the last of them. It’s important to know how the pandemic affects campaigns, as this will continue to be a topic of discussion (and much contention) in the months to come.
All too often during election season, many voters feel the pangs of feeling insignificant. How, they may wonder, can my one vote count when there are so many people who may vote otherwise? When these feelings set in, it can be difficult to engage voters. So what’s a way to feel a bigger impact, to make your vote feel that it matters even more than it already does? Find out here.