Premium

Are lockdowns the sleeper issue of the 2020 election?

While the fate of the swing states remains unknown for now, there’s little question that Joe Biden is leading in the polls for the national vote by a significant margin. But there are still plenty of people on the fence for one reason or another. Let’s forget about more October surprises for the moment and consider whether or not there’s a solid campaign issue out there that’s not getting much attention, but could be a deciding factor for enough voters to make a difference. Scott Rasmussen has been conducting some deep polling on a variety of subjects as is his wont and he may have come up with a possible candidate. It has to do with the various mandates coming from on high about how we must conduct ourselves during the pandemic.

As it turns out, the idea of another major shutdown of the nation in response to another wave of the novel coronavirus isn’t popular at all. There are some who support it, of course, but a solid majority are opposed. And we’re talking about a nearly 60% majority.

A majority of likely American voters believe the United States should not undergo another COVID-19 lockdown, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

A full 57% of likely voters believe that “it is better [for the U.S.] to find a way to move forward” without further lockdowns like the kinds that American governors imposed throughout the country in March and April.

Just 33%, meanwhile, believe that “it is better for America to lock down again.” The remaining 10% were unsure.

A 57-33 spread is far from insignificant. There aren’t even enough undecideds to make up the gap. We’ve also seen parallel polling showing that a national mask mandate is none too popular either. Plenty of people are ready and willing to wear masks where appropriate. (I do on the rare occasions that I venture out of the house.) But a general order from Washington to wear them at all times when not at home? That’s not very popular either.

Recall that Joe Biden has already come out on multiple occasions and said that he believes he has the authority to mandate a national order to wear face masks. (Of course, as with most things, when a reporter challenged him on it he also said the opposite.)

As for the shutdown idea, Joe Biden has also said he will be willing to do that “if the scientists agree.” And hey… when it comes to COVID you can find a doctor to say just about anything you please if you ask enough of them. It’s one of the areas where there is a stark difference between Biden and Trump. The President wants the economy up and running. Joe Biden is more interested in hiding from the virus. But could this really have an impact?

Scott’s latest polling of swing states has the two candidates only a couple of points apart in Florida and North Carolina. And just today he released results showing that Biden’s recent lead in Pennsylvania has been cut in half. Uncle Joe has been trying to ignore all other issues on the rare occasions when he ventures out of his basement and focus all of his fire on Trump’s handling of the plague. But that may be about to backfire on him. Now that we’re seeing increasing numbers of hotspots cropping back up around the country as we approach the winter, the candidates will be forced to tell the country what they plan to do about it.

Joe Biden is the candidate of shutdowns and mandatory mask mandates. Donald Trump is edging closer to a partial herd immunity strategy. As voters make up their minds and prepare to go to the polls (for those who haven’t already voted early), this is going to be a subject weighing on their minds. I personally don’t know if it will be enough to push Trump over the top in some very close battleground states, but based on these numbers, they won’t be feeling all that excited about Joe Biden’s plans.