Think sickly field organizers, restrictions on staff travel (candidates can charter their own planes), and rallies no one wants to attend. Not to mention the tens of thousand of people set to descend on Milwaukee, Wis. and Charlotte, N.C. this summer for the party conventions.
“There’s been nothing like this,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist based in New York.
If the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States, he said, “We’re going to go through a period, obviously, where public health officials and experts are going to say no shaking hands, no public contact … We may be witnessing an era where television, or more so, social media, becomes the means to campaign in a coronavirus world.”
To most campaign observers, the likelihood of any widespread disruption of the primary remains dim. But if the virus does spread, the mechanical implications for campaigns could be profound.