How weird could the 2020 campaign get? You have no idea

Republicans, including the president, have been relentlessly and brutally candid about their intentions; the easier it is for Americans to vote, the better the chances for Biden. What this means is that Democrats have to begin now to “get out the vote” in terms of helping voters register for absentee mail in ballots. If states make that harder—say, by returning scanned copies of drivers’ licenses or other valid IDs—then Democrats may have to do all kinds of unusual new things, like providing scanners in low-income neighborhoods, where these tools are less available.

This means says Joe Trippi, that “you have got design a completely different get-out-the-vote operation … you have got to have legal teams looking it, starting now.”

In one sense, the political world this fall will be paralleling the wider world, in grappling with accelerated changes in our lives that were already underway: just as telecommuting, virtual conferences, and online shopping are trends that have exponentially increased, so politics may be about to see the same unplanned plunge into the future. We can only imagine the more revolutionary possibilities. (Will candidates appear via hologram? Be careful before dismissing the notion.)

What the coronavirus has done is to turn the evolution of campaign strategy and tactics into a new reality, right now. If the heart and soul of election behavior has been rendered unsafe, then, in Murphy’s words, “the election is like Sears Roebuck waking up to online shopping.”

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